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100% NEW 100% ZODIAC!


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American-V: Contents 47


4: NEWS / NEW PRODUCTS 10: REVIEWS H-D Ladies’ RCS layered clothing system and gloves, Frost/Clarke wire twisting pliers, H-D Multi-Tool.

14: Forty-Eight vs 1200 Custom

48: Euro-Festival H-D AKA The Run to the Sun, St Tropez, or more accurately Port Grimaud. Just one of many things to do on the weekend of 12-15th May, which also includes ...

They’re fat-tyred, they’re Sportsters, they’re obviously Fatsters ... except they’re not. They are very different motorcycles though, and we can’t agree which is best.

52: AMOC Custom Show ... because it really was about time we dropped in to

22: Lane Splitter

54: Roundhead’s Revenge ... where she was corrupted with moonshine by Wild

Really want to call Sickboyz’ budget bobber an austerity Sportster, ’cos it is, but it’s so much more.

26: XR1200X

Yes, we’ve ridden it before, but this makes up for failing to get to any of the XR-series races so far, and it’s a fascinating ride after the chubby 4-cam customs.

30: Twin Pans

Unidentical twins from North Manchester: a period ’48 bobber and a rebuilt but not restored ’54 Hydra Glide.


It’s a Twin Cam with Panhead rocker covers: it’s Guiidford Custom Cycles’ Twin Pan.

42: California Dreamin’ The indoor custom show we’ve all been waiting for? Editor:


Features Editor:

Annual Subscriptions: Six issues, inc Patch UK: £29.70 EU: £44.10 RoW Zone 1: £46.26 RoW Zone 2: £51.30 (all include postage)

Staff Writer: Amanda Wright Contributors this issue: Steve Kelly, Nitro, Alan Hill, Darryl Godfrey, Pete Pearson. Proof reader: Amanda’s back in the chair, rocking backwards and forwards. Design: Mini Ha-Ha and Erika McAston All editorial enquiries to: Advertising Sales: Andy Fraser 01778 392054 Advertising Production: Sue Ward: 01778 392405 Trade Sales: Natalie Cole: 01778 392404

Published by American-V, PO Box 336, Crewe, Cheshire, CW2 7WY. Tel: 0207 993 8002 Printed in the UK by Warners (Midlands) PLC, Bourne. Distribution by: Warners Group Publications Plc West Street, Bourne, Lincolnshire, PE10 9PH Tel: 01778 391135 Copyright 2011 American-V. TFFT

Please give me chance to get the Shovel back in one piece, and the Vegas Stripper moving forwards before the next deadline.

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see them, although I left Amanda at ...

West Show folk, and a bunch of Yorkshiremen.

58: Cider Rally Just a couple of weeks earlier, Mr and Mrs Nitro hit the HOG trail down to Weston-Super-mare ...

62: Laughlin River Run ... while Steve Kelly headed to the Mojave Desert to the picture postcard American west.

66: Bird on the wire Nothing to do with Leonard Cohen ... or blackbirds in an

avian context, initially, but how many remember the SR71?

73: Quickspin: Can-Am Spyder Three wheels on my wagon, and I’ve only just stopped grinning. Yes, it’s American and a V-Twin: Canada counts!

78: Project: Victory The Vegas Stripper gets a bit on the side! 80: Project: Road King The Evo FLHR is shaping up 82: TECH: Chrome A new series of FAQs: what is chrome? 84: LONG TERM FAT BOY Which looks like a half-decent Fat Boy custom again 88: LONG TERM 8-BALL VISION Shrugs off its toughest competition. 91: Hood Jeans CompEtition 92: EVENTS CALENDAR 95: Classified Ad pages 98: RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS

C’mon, we’ve all done it ... well, ’cept me of course: I do it deliberately.

04/07/2011 03:16

American-V # ONE


HARLEYDAVIDSON 2012 Early 2012 model news coming in points to an upgrade to Harley’s Softail family for 2012 with a new 103-inch – TC103B – engine across the board, as will a couple of the Dyna models, while concrete news on the US Spec models is pointing to autodecompressors in the heads of their 103-inch motors and an integrated oil-cooler that’s so well integrated as to be invisible on any released shots. And, of course, everything is water-cooled ... not! The patents submitted for watercooled heads, using radiators built into the legshields on baggers, have leaked into the public domain, but c’mon? They’ve only just sorted out the vents in the fairing lowers and Willy Wings to get cool air flowing, and the last thing they’ll want to do is create a fan heater in front of the rider when they’re trying to sort out heating issues. I don’t doubt they’re genuine, but so were those for the banking reversed trike. Some of this stuff is official – an exercise in smoke and mirrors to keep us occupied until the Summer Dealer Meeting in Anaheim, California, and the full announcement on 20th July – the rest is pulled from public domain regulatory hoops that the Motor Company has to jump through if they’re planning on selling any bikes in California. The Softail range will comprise the ‘yet-to-make-an-impact’ Blackline, the ever popular Fat Boy and Fat Boy Low – which we’ll take as a Fat Boy Special – the evergreen Heritage Softail Classic and the recently reintroduced Softail Deluxe. On the Dyna front, both the Wide Glide and Fat Bob get a TC103 engine while the Street Bob and Super Glide Custom stick with the TC96 for the time being. I suspect this will be an opportunity to add a price premium for the 103s with the Street Bob continuing to be an entry level model at the lower price, and the Super Glide Custom doing the same for black and chrome customers. The BIG news, though is a new model: the Switchback. Well, I assume it’s a Dyna, because it’s listed with the Fat Bob and Wide Glide, but that could be a red herring: there’s no model designation offered so it could be a new Softail, but that wouldn’t make much sense until they’ve established the Blackline. One thing is almost certain: with a name like ‘Switchback’ – used heavily on 2-in-1 jackets – it will be a convertible, and the FXR/FXD range has a history of convertibles. We’ve been playing with the format of the magazine this issue, bundling sections together so events, tech and the long termers are grouped, and features that have any common theme. I don’t know if it’ll work, if anyone will tell the difference or whether it’s just navel gazing, but it will be interesting to see if it makes the overall magazine look any different: it’s probably due a little bit of a tickling up, and is a lot less stressful than the revamp that will accompany increased frequency, which will be necessary to


The Sportster range will be short of the 883R – which has been dropped before and reinstated – leaving the XR1200X to cover for the sportier aspirations of the family. The Michelin Scorcher tyres, seen on the 1200 Custom in this issue, will be a feature of all 2012 XLs, so we’ll get to find out if the Dunlop’s broader shoulders are what gives the Forty-Eight an edge over the Custom in cornering clearance. There’s going to be a bit of cosmetic tidying up with the Sportsters, with the finish of the side covers matching that of the paint – gloss or denim – and a new graphic for the Forty Eight, which will now read ‘Forty-Eight’ instead of ‘Sportster’ down the side of the tank: expect strong demand for the old tanks. There will also be an Anniversary V-Rod – in the form of a Night Rod Special Anniversary Edition, to celebrate 10 years of the watercooled motor – which will run alongside the Muscle and the regular Night Rod Special, but nothing official which makes us wonder what they might be holding back. Suspicious? Us? Would an Anniversary edition represent enough of a reason to defer? I wouldn’t think so, but they’re showing as 1250cc models still, and it’s not as though they could watercool them ... maybe they’ve made them air-cooled: that really would be a turn up for the books. And in the Touring family, while hardly relevant to the UK market, the Road Glide will be replaced by a Road Glide Custom, and we think it’s about time that Harley reintroduced the Road Glide here – even if it’s in limited numbers – because there’s just a chance that its time has finally arrived: we’re more willing to accept a bagger without a Batwing, and the Vision is just so much better than the Ultra in the long haul comfort stakes, which I reckon is down to the frame-mounted screen. There will be a new aluminium laced, tubeless wheel available on all Touring models except the Ultra, but I don’t know if that will be an HDI option. For those who are less affected by the recession, the 110-inch CVO models for 2012 will comprise the Softail Convertible, Road Glide Custom, Street Glide and Ultra Classic Electra Glide.

accommodate a broader content, but don’t worry, the fundamental strengths of the magazine are cast in stone and will only be developed rather than replaced. And what of broader frequency? Is this the ‘monthly’ we’ve been preparing for? Not as yet, no. We’ve been talking to our distributors, to get a handle on our timings, and we’ve been advised to exercise caution: the anecdotal information in the marketplace shows that other bimonthlies who have gone monthly

recently have halved circulation, so the net sale doesn’t change, unlike the workload and the production costs which double. That’s suicidal. There’s no guarantee that we would suffer the same fate if we were so audacious, but the newstrade is taking a hammering and it’s not a sensible time to bet against the bank. It’s not all bad news: that hammering on the high street equates to a 1015% downturn, and we’re holding up well. I firmly believe that specialist titles have a significantly better chance of survival, but

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Bulldog 25th

Status Quo will headline the Bulldog’s Main Stage on Friday, lining-up with The Damned, Bad Manners and many more at the event’s 25th Anniversary, from the 11-14 August 2011 at The Shakespeare County Raceway in Warwickshire. four days of the very best in hard-rocking, nitrous fuelled entertainment Quo’s Francis Rossi said, “We love playing the Bulldog and it’s fair to say that we are delighted to be back. It’s one of the liveliest shows that the band play anywhere on the circuit and we’re looking forward to giving the crowd a serious Quo rocking!” True icons of the British rock scene, Status Quo have sold over 118 million records worldwide and had more hit albums in the UK album charts than even The Beatles, as well as 63 British hit singles, including 22 in the top ten, since ‘Pictures of Matchstick Men’, reached number 7 in the UK chart in January 1968. The outrageous Buster Bloodvessel’s Bad Manners – a nine-piece mini-orchestra – will be lining-up alongside Status Quo to get the main stage crowds jumping with their unique blend of SKA, jump blues and boogie known as Ska’N’B. The Saturday line-up will be topped by The Damned, featuring original vocalist Dave Vanian and guitarist Captain Sensible, still defiantly challenging audiences and promising an amazing live show to mark their 35th anniversary in the music business at Bulldog 25. They’re hailed as “pioneers of Gothic Rock” – edgy, loud, always entertaining – yet never taking themselves too seriously. The Custom Show is filling up quickly and spaces are limited so if you’re interested in taking a trophy at the UK’s most prestigious ride-in custom show, you’d best get your entry in quickly: details are available on the website.

And of course, there’s the Run What You Brung Drag Racing to settle scores, or just find out what your bike will do on a proper dragstrip, between showcase events from the professionals. They’re just a few of the many attractions in this packed festival of motorcycling, which also include a white knuckle funfair, a new outdoor stage, rave tent, new bars with draft beers and a huge retail village. Show spokesperson Echo said: “We’re as proud as hell to be able to invite everyone to join us in celebrating 25 years of the bash. We beat all the unjustified attempts to stop the event thanks to the support of the biking community, the people of Stratford and the local council – so let’s enjoy the fruits of our victory and celebrate the landmark 25th year of the Bash in style.” Tickets are available at £60 per person until July 15 – be quick – and the £70 gate price thereafter.

Big Dog Motorcycles Europe Update Big Dog Motorcycle Europe (BDME) tell us that they have secured full rights to use the Big Dog Motorcycles name in the European Union, where they are already licensed to build motorcycles, which have already passed European Type Approval, as an oem manufacturer. BDME has the opportunity, facilities and the property rights to build or assemble complete motorcycles bearing the Big Dog Motorcycles name when existing stocks are depleted, with all parts and the full range of accessories available to we’ve got to be clever: we’re going to have to spend money, and need to make sure it’s in the right places. The biggest trick is doing that without increasing the cover price, because there’s a psychological barrier at £5, even though we all use a £10 like we used a fiver just a few short years ago. There’s no question of cutting the paper quality either, because it would cheapen the magazine, doesn’t hold the ink as well, and ‘show-through’ from the reverse side of the page detracts from

them from BDM Performance Products and approved suppliers, which will be manufactured to the same Type Approval specification and available throughout the European Union. BDME will secure future growth through direct sales to end customers, creating a world class sales and service network across Europe, and are looking for partners with the required proven experience to share in this next exciting stage of Big Dog Motorcycles’ story. the overall appearance: I’d sooner reduce the page height by 20mm – maybe go to American A4 – which could reduce postal costs by 28-30%, or up to £300 per 1000 magazines, and is an option I’m considering. I’m glad we never offered binders.. And, of course, we need to increase circulation and the numbers of subscriptions, so we’re working hard to increase availability in the shops (see our Blog and Facebook page for details) and looking after our valued subscribers. And increased frequency? It’s looking likely that

WARR’S at the Ace Europe’s oldest Harley-Davidson dealership, Warr’s Harley-Davidson, is hosting the famous Ace Café’s Harley night on the last Thursday of every month. With a custom bike competition at each event, riders are encouraged to bring along their modified Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and the very best individual design each month will win a prize of a £250 voucher for parts and accessories. The grand final will be held on 27th October to crown the ultimate winner, whose prize will be the holiday of a lifetime for two to the legendary Daytona Bike Week in the USA! “The nights have proved really successful so far, but we’re sure there are still some amazing customised motorcycles out there that we haven’t seen yet,” said John Warr, managing director of Warr’s HarleyDavidson. “It really is an amazing prize in the final, in addition to the monthly prizes of a £250 parts and accessories voucher. “Even if you don’t win the monthly prize, you still have a chance of claiming the trip to Daytona, as we’ll also be putting two runners up through to the final each month. I’d encourage anyone who hasn’t been before to give it a try: it’s a really friendly event with a great atmosphere – you’ll be made very welcome.” Warr’s are also hosting a four-day HarleyDavidson extravaganza at the Ace Café on the bank holiday weekend of 25-28 August. In addition to the custom competition there will be a stunt display, exhibition of the Warr’s stunning Kings Road Custom’s motorcycles, as well as all the latest Harley-Davidson motorcycles available to test ride, so take both parts of your licence.

we’ll go to eight issues a year first – we’re just working out current seasonal trends to make sure the two extra issues come out at exactly the right time – and we’ll see how that pans out. It’s a big challenge, but one that is familiar to many of you who I speak to on a daily basis, who are in the same boat. It’s a tough world out there, and we’ve got to use our wits to stay in the game, but our resolve is as strong as ever. Spread the word: we’re here for the long haul. Andy

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If you run a bagger, you’ll know the truth: big deep panniers are great for big stuff, but less brilliant for small bits – and the two certainly don’t mix. This is an elegant and obvious solution: a drop-in tray, three inches deep, that fit at the back of your slantbag, with a rubber cushion floor and an optional ‘Pick-nPluck’ foam insert that allows you to pack your most senstive cargo even more safely. Available in two forms to suit any slantbag after the battery was relocated centrally, you can combine one with a 12v outlet charger kit and recharge your iPod, phone or GPS on the road. Genius. Zod. 638551/638552 fits right/left hand pannier, 93-03 Zod. 638550 fits left or right hand pannier, 2004-on Zod. 638555 replacement grip rubber cushion floor Zod. 638554 Pick-n-Pluck foam insert Zod. 638553 12v outlet charger kit

MUSTANG Lowdown Touring Comfort Mustang’s new LowDown touring design for 2009-up FL Touring models sits the rider 1½˝ lower and slightly forward compared to the stock seat – which I presume refers to the Ultra – and the nose has been narrowed, all of which helps you get both feet firmly planted on the ground. The comfort referred to is provided by a deeply pocketed, 16½˝ wide saddle for the rider, and a fully supported 14˝ wide seat for the passenger. The plain seat model shown, has been matched to Mustang’s Wrap-Around Passenger Backrest with extended arms. Available plain or with two kinds of studs, the LowDown comes with or without a fully

Remember the E5/E10 Biofuel piece from last issue? Here’s an update. We’re not totally immune, just because the Americans have been using Ethanol additives for a while, and I’m reliably informed that it’s known to cause headaches for Buell fuel pumps and it won’t end there. There is a solution (sic) in the form of a fuel treatment that prevents the corrosion in the fuel system associated with Ethanol, as well as the gum and resin deposits and carbon build-up ... and the clogged carburettors, injectors, filters and fuel lines. We’ve got a bottle to test, which I’ll be sharing between my Buell Cyclone, which is a little fussy with stagnant fuel, and the soon to be resurrected Shovel, which we’ll be using to do a lot of testing and monitoring on ... see below. Watch this space.

adjustable rider backrest, which folds flat for easy access, and removes without tools. distributed by We mentioned the Hydrogen technology being developed by TEZ a good few issues ago now, and you’ll have noticed that the trail has gone a bit cold. Not for much longer though. We’ve got a much better handle on what If your Harley is sitting that little bit too high for your tastes – and face it, they always look it’s supposed to be capable of and will be better an inch or two lower, Burly might have fitting it to my Shovel, which is on my to-do just the thing for you with their inexpensive list for when this issue has gone to press. Slammer Kits: a combination of their shorter And while it’s at the MoT station, once fork springs that will lower the front by up to back in one leak-free piece, we’re going 2˝, and their 10½˝ Slammer shocks in black to put it on the car emissions tester to see or chrome, and all in one box. how much rubbish this 70,000 mile ‘dirty’ B28-1000: for 1998-2003 Sportsters, chrome shocks old Hemi is spitting out. Then we’re going B28-1001: for 2004-on Sportsters, chrome shocks to switch on the TEZ Hybrid Kit, put a few B28-1001B: for 2004-on Sportsters, black shocks miles on it and test it again, and if there B28-1002: for 1991-2005 Dyna, chrome shocks is the marked difference expected, we’re B28-1003: for 2006-on Dyna, chrome shocks going to test a 2011 Twin Cam. B28-1004: for 1980-2011 Touring, chrome shocks Why? Because the French are debating B28-1005: for 1989-1999 Softail distributed by banning pre-2003 vehicles from cities on B28-1006: for 2000-on Softail the basis they’re dirty, which needs to be challenged before our lot start thinking it might be a good idea. And we’ll do some performance and economy testing – proper measured stuff, Close friend and confidant of the immortal Isaiah Fartwell, Cap’n T-Bird, which should show a more marked result informs us that he’s producing a range of top quality, 100% cotton t-shirts than on the Victory, which is a pretty featuring iconic Harley-Davidson engines and British motorcycles on both their efficient, powerful, lean running engine front and back, that make the wearer look startlingly sexy, for just £15.88. already – and then we’ll whip the top Over the coming months, these will be followed by a host of new designs end off expecting to see a carbon-free – literally several – celebrating great scenes from biker movies, all available, combustion chamber and piston crown. together with ramblings and ‘life enhancing jokes’ from the Cap’n himself at:

Hybrid Update


Wear an icon



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Warr's Ad_American_V_May/June_2011_Warr's Ad_American_V_May/June_2011 06/04/2011 09:00 Page 1

s e is Ac st m e u ’t th ug on at A D r’s th 8 ar -2 W th 25

Warr’s ‘Tracker’ Customised Harley-Davidson Street Bob

Warr’s - Serving the Harley enthusiast since 1924 Europe’s oldest dealership +44 (0)20 7736 2934 © H-D 2011. Harley, Harley-Davidson and the Bar & Shield logo are among the trademarks of H-D Michigan, LLC.

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» La Rosa



There’s something very ‘high plains drifter’ about leather saddlebags, and these look like they’ll bed in nicely, in the way that only leather can. With bags for Softails, 2004-on Dynas, 82-03 and 04-on Sportsters, all in 9oz – about 3½mm – thick leather in black, tan or a rustic brown finish, and a matching tool roll, these will take as long to bed-in as the motor, and will last as long as the heavy stitching ... and that would only be an inconvenience, until you had chance to stitch it back together again. Thick enough to tool ... or maybe that should say thick enough to give someone else to tool, because this quality won’t come cheap.


There is one kind of Frost that’s welcome in the workshop, and that’s the catalogue that contains all those stupid little things that you otherwise spend hours tracking down. You know, the sort of stuff that was in your dad’s toolbox, and haven’t forgiven him yet for giving to the bloke a few doors down. And there’s more of interest than the ‘Motorcycle Essential’ page, with paints, lubes, additives as well as tools from spanners to specialist stuff for bending and forming metal: it’s all in the Frost catalogues 100 pages, which is much more workshop-friendly than t’internet.

ELITE EXhaust tips Generous to a fault, Performance Machine have launched a range of four exhaust tips designed to cater for a wide range of slip-on mufflers from the likes of Supertrapp, Rhinehart, Screamin’ Eagle and Kerker: anything that finishes with a 3½ or 4-inch diameter pipe – including Bassini’s short and long megaphones. It’s basically, a billet of aluminium that has been machined in a variety of different styles – inside and out – and either chrome plated or black anodized and contrast cut, but no-one turns aluminium quite like PM. distributed by


If you think you’re experiencing déjà vu, look again: these aren’t the Monster Rounds from last month but the admittedly similar ovals, but with a difference. These are homologated to the poetically-named Directive 97/24/EC and bear the ‘e’ mark and corresponding type-approval number laser engraved directly into the chrome. And they have a four-way baffle that I don’t pretend to fully understand: the picture shows the components but not how they work: we’ll save that for a later day when we can try a pair on a willing volunteer’s bike and find out how much difference there is in volume between ‘1’ and ‘4’. What I can tell you is that they’ve got full coverage heat shields and come in a chrome finish

distributed by

PM Fast Air Intake

The newest and possibly the most aggressive filter to take inspiration from the Forcewinder, Performance Machine’s Fast Air Intake is a nice twist on the plain filter and sock, in either their popular contrast-cut black anodised aluminium, or chrome. 66-866 for Big Twins 93-10, S&S Super E/G contrast cut (66-868 chrome) 66-871 for Big Twins 93-on, contrast cut (66-873 chrome) 66-874 for Touring models 08-10, black contrast cut (66-876 chrome) 66-877 for Sportster 91-10, contrast cut (66-879 chrome)


Deluxe Levers

Zodiac are now shipping Kustom Tech’s stunning deluxe handlebar controls: a range that redefines exquisite. Minimal, CNC-machined from billet in brass and aluminium, they are available in a polished or satin finish and the hydraulic master cylinders are available for single (12mm) or twin (14mm) disc applications. Just stunning. Prices start from £273 for brake master cylinders, £144 for the simpler clutch levers. Zod 751270: 12mm bore, polished brass/aluminium Zod 751271: 12mm bore, satin brass/aluminium Zod 751272: 14mm bore, polished brass/aluminium Zod 751273: 14mm bore, satin brass/aluminium Zod 751274: 12mm bore, polished aluminium Zod 751275: 12mm bore, satin aluminium Zod 751276: 14mm bore, polished aluminium Zod 751277: 14mm bore, satin aluminium Zod 751278: Polished brass/aluminium Zod 751279: Satin brass/aluminium Zod 751280: Polished aluminium Zod 751280: Satin aluminium Zod 751282: Brass clutch adjuster Zod 751283: Rebuild kit for 12mm master cylinder Zod 751284: Rebuild kit for 14mm master cylinder

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MAG Europe Ltd Unit 2 Oakden Drive, Denton, Manchester, M34 2QN, UK Office: +44 (0)161 337 4390 Fax: +44 (0)161 337 4395 Email: Web:

5/7/11 12:27:29


Harley-Davidson RCS:

WOMEN’s Rider Comfort System 98389-11VW Layering Top 98386-11VW Soft Shell Windproof Jacket 98383-11VW Functional Jacket 98391-11VW Waterproof Jacket We’re all aware of the benefits of layered clothing – especially during the winter months to keep the cold and icy elements at bay – and how much sense it makes to have good, practical kit that you know you can rely on when it is needed, and will have a range of kit that works for us. In winter, I sport thermal longjohns beneath my riding gear, bought cheap at sports discount shops, which have proved adequate in keeping me warmer through winter even if they’re not made from the nicest materials, swapped in summer for a simple cotton t-shirt beneath my outer-layers, or a running/cycling top that supposedly has moisture wicking properties to take sweat from your skin, and sometimes this has worked and others I have just ended up as a sweaty-mess: yuck! Now Harley-Davidson Motorclothes have brought out their Rider Comfort System, which consists of three layers designed to compliment each other when worn together, and I’ve been putting them through their paces: a base layer for moisture management, the mid-layer for extra insulation and the outer-layer for protection. Out of the four pieces of kit on test, I only tried out two as part of my riding gear/rally gear, for reasons I’ll come to: the Layering Top and the Soft Shell Jacket. It was immediately obvious that with its long sleeves, the Layering Top was at the limits of its


usefulness even at a windy May rally. Had the wind dropped, I wouldn’t have been able to get it off quickly enough, to get some breeze on my bare arms. Thin and lightweight in its construction, its high-tech fabric is designed to wick moisture away from the body, requiring that it is directly next to the skin, but it’s more in the context of wrapping-up for winter than a summers’ day, where a short sleeved version would have been much more appropriate. If too warm for the base layer, the blustery conditions were perfect for putting the Soft Shell Windproof Jacket to the test, and it passed the functional part of the test with flying colours: yes it does keep out the wind, and keep your body warmth in. It’s got some great design ideas, in the removable hood and a thumb hole cuff which helps prevent the sleeve riding-up when putting a jacket over the top, and being fleece-lined, you’ve got a nicer, softer material than the Polyester outer shell next to your body, but I really didn’t get on with the polyester material it is made of. It’s more a case of finding the trade-off between technology and practicality too high a price to pay: the material is very clever, but you can only handwash it in cold water. And with light grey material on the inner arms and outer body panels, which will get grubby really quickly – especially at the cuffs – its usefulness at your average Rugby Club event is compromised. It’s to be hoped that the high-tech material releases dirt easily – the tested garment has survived a few washes without incident – but a post-rally wash is about throwing everything into a machine while unpacking/ cleaning the bike/showering/getting ready for the next day, so hand-washing is a pain. ‘Functional Jacket’ is a decription Harley uses frequently, but the RCS version doesn’t live up to the quality of the other excellent jackets that I’ve tried in the motorclothes range. I had ‘fit’ issues with it – the first since determining my size in the HarleyDavidson range, but I would recommend that you always go to your authorised dealer and get the right size in any jacket. This fitted in places but not in others, but it could be different for you. More of an issue for me, however, was the ultra-light weight material: the same basic texture and weave as that used in other outer garmets, but a lot lighter. Cleverly designed, with vents at the shoulders and back to provide cooling airflow, but fewer pockets than the FXRG, it comes without armour, but Harley’s Performance Body Armour is available

to fit in pockets in the elbows, shoulder and back, which could have created a psychological barrier, but it felt impossibly light and didn’t inspire confidence. Short of taking an angle grinder to it and the FXRG – which seemed a little excessive, and might have voided the warranty – I wasn’t comfortable wearing it as a protective layer, no matter how much Andy protested that Harley wouldn’t risk calling something protective if it wasn’t. On the basis that the RCS system isn’t a single purchase but three, I’d select a more substantial jacket: it isn’t as though there isn’t a wide range to choose from. I’ve got to say that the Waterproof Jacket wouldn’t be on that shortlist for me. which I really didn’t see the point of. If it is supposed to be worn over the base and medium layer as the protective layer, it is flawed as it offers no protection – except from the rain – to the rider at all. And not only was there no armour again, but there’s nowhere to put any. And if I was concerned by the weight of the material of the Functional Jacket, I’m concerned by the polyester material itself of the Waterproof Jacket. With fully sealed seams and embroidered graphics, and the zip-out ‘Wind Skirt’ to prevent an unwelcome breeze getting any higher than your waist, they have taken the design and waterproofing seriously, but it feels like a hiking jacket that I used to have that came off worse in an altercation with a thorned bush. I’d see this really as being a rally jacket for someone who has arrived in a car, although a hood that is described as being designed to wear under your helmet suggests otherwise. But then I’d suggest a helmet that would allow so much material beneath it in comfort would be a token gesture or a dangerously poor fit: maybe an American DOT half helmet but nothing more substantial. Although the concept of a layered system for riding in is a very good one, I believe that Harley’s broader range of protective jackets will serve the RCS system better than those that have been specifically designed for it, and would set aside enough time at your dealer to try a number of combinations. And while I’d struggle to recommend the system, its component layers will be welcomed by those looking for such a solution. /Amanda

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p011x_acjulaug11.indd 1

4/7/11 15:08:48

American-V # ONE



T200: Wire Twisting pliers £28.09 Just on the offchance that you didn’t know, engines vibrate and that unfastens things. The older the motor, and the higher the state of tune, the greater chance it’ll ultimately vibrate itself to pieces, which is why critical parts get lock-wired - especially hidden ones that you don’t see daily – so that nuts and bolts can’t vibrate apart. You’ll see it a lot on racing bikes and cars, and you’ll find it on a Shovelhead’s inner primary case – and, if you’re bright, on the single bolt exhaust mountings. Faced with removing the inner primary to fit a new gearbox mainshaft oil seal, I knew

Harley-Davidson MultiTool:

96853-11V The Multi-Tool is well known to many motorcyclists, and is almost universally known as a Leatherman, in the same way a vacuum cleaner is a Hoover or a waxed cotton jacket, a Belstaff. It’s the outdoor version of a swiss army knife, with many common tools – though not the one to remove stones from horses’ hooves – and in a bigger package that is easier to grip, so offering more leverage when necessary. Like many such simple things, however, it is very complicated certainly when it comes down to working out which particular Multi-Tool you want, and they range from a 2½-inch, £25 compact device up to £180 for the 19-tool top of the 4-inch range model, and that’s just within the Leatherman family. The bigger dilemma is what to buy the person who wants a multi-tool? A quick clue: don’t go to the local supermarket and


I was going to have to wire the two critical bolts when I put it together again. It’s easy enough: a bit of stainless wire and a pair of pliers will get a result, but if you want it to look right, there’s nothing easier than Wire Twisting Pliers. It’s very simple: run one end of the wire through the drilled head of the bolt, run the other past it, and where they meet again, allow a couple of inches, clamp the ends into the twisting pliers and lock them. All you have to do then is to pull the springloaded knob and as you do so, it maintains the right tension on the wire and twists it cleanly and evenly. It’s a bitch to photograph the act of twisting it, but the result looks stunning, and it does the job right! / Andy get a cheapy, because they are rubbish. There’s a new ‘get out of jail free’ card from Harley that takes the sting out of it: a 4-inch 8oz / 224g 11-in-1 multi-tool that bears Harley’s branding. Based round the ubiquitous needle-nose pliers which provide three of the eleven functions by themselves – possibly two, because in a headcount I reckon the file doubles as a large flat screwdriver, and perfect for removing a saddle’s rear mounting bolt. It folds away to slot into it’s nylon carrying case, with the inevitable bar and shield logo – the branding on the tool itself is actually very understated – which will probably be permanently attached to your belt. Obviously, despite it never having left my side in the month since it arrived, nothing has gone wrong that would require it, so it hasn’t been fully tested, and the measure of its quality will be more apparent in five, ten and fifteen years time, but it looks to be good quality and robust, the knives are sharp, the spring-loaded pliers’ jaws close well with no sideways play and the pivots look strong. And at £36 it’s a nice price, although there’s no mention of a warranty. / Andy

Harley-Davidson Rider Comfort System Gloves: 98392-11VW RCS Full Finger Textile

Until these landed, I had been wearing a pair of FXRG leather gloves, which have proved to be great in hot weather and autumn months, and while the FXRGs are fabulous, I find that my hands sweat slightly less in these as the nylon allows them to breathe just that bit more than the very thin leather of the FXs. The RCS gloves are alot shorter in the wrist, which means you get a welcome breeze flowing up the sleeves of your jacket – although that can become draughty when the sun goes down – but the snug fitting and lightweight materials used make this the perfect summer glove in so many ways. Riding many miles in these has proven them to be an asset to any riders kit: the stretchy panels in all the right places make them very comfy and don’t restrict your finger/hand movements at all as they are very flexible, and as well as keeping your hands cool they act as a good barrier against the wind: I don’t remember any wind getting through them, even at high speeds. The palms of these gloves are gel-padded which gives a nice bit of cushioning against the handlebar grips and seems to prevent the aching palm I have suffered from when I have worn unlined gloves: which over a long journey really helps! At the wrist there is a velcro fastener that secures it reassuringly firmly, and I like both the orange Harley script on the cuff and the bar and shield logos beneath the fingers, which ensure a good grip on the handlebars. In all, these are a great piece of kit that could easily be packed as a spare pair of gloves or used as your main riding gloves when going away, and make absolute sense as everyday summer riding gloves. / Amanda

AmV47.Reviews.indd 12

02/07/2011 12:51





8 Baker Street Birmingham B11 4SF tel. 0121 766 8111

Page 1

20/06/2011 15:42

Proud to support the 2011 XR1200 Race Series

Come and see us racing. For details visit Cheltenham Harley-Davidson® Princess Elizabeth Way Cheltenham GL51 7PA Tel: 01242 240570

Oxford Harley-Davidson® Corner House, Wootton Oxford OX13 6BS Tel: 01865 735121

© H-D 2011, Harley, Harley-Davidson and the Bar and Shield logo are among the trademarks of H-D Michigan, LLC.


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4/7/11 12:21:30


FATSTERS Well, what else could you call a FL-tyred XL? Okay, so they could – and they did – call them a XL1200X FortyEight and the XL1200C Custom, but we know that they are the natural evolution that created the Fat Bob from the Fat Boy … aren’t they?


AMV.47.FATSTERS.indd 14

02/07/2011 22:24

Head to head: XL1200X Forty Eight vs XL1200C Custom

It’s only when you see these two bikes side by side that you can truly appreciate just how many common parts they share, albeit in a different finish, but that’s far from the full story. The attention to detail of the distinct can be seen as a microcosm in something as simple as the lighting rig: even the front indicators which have conventional bulbs use different reflectors, the deep dish custom headlamp sits higher, beneath a redesigned ‘eyelid’ and familiar Sportster Custom handlebar riser and instrument console, while the Forty-Eight’s classic Sportster headlamp might be mounted on an identical, wide-set bottom yoke, but uses as a shorter bracket which tucks it between the forklegs beneath its new instrument console. And, of course, the new LED taillight on the Custom is a world away from the Nightster-derived LED stop/tail/indicators that flank the abbreviated XL rear mudguard.


AMV.47.FATSTERS.indd 15


02/07/2011 22:24

Hill Shipping

‘Taking the stress from shipping’

USA Car and Car Parts Shipping Specialists

� Agents in USA to source vehicles � Marine Insurance � Complete Professional Package �

HARLEY HOLIDAY HEAVEN FLY / BUY / DRIVE ‘Hill Shipping is working together with American Motorcycle in Texas to offer the total package’. You fly to DALLAS where you will be collected and taken to their store to collect the Harley you have purchased. If required the bike can be made available at other locations. Then you have the opportunity to ride it where you wish - say Los Angeles - where you drop it off for shipment back to the UK.


Email: p021_avjulaug11.indd HillandHarleyAPRIL.indd1 1

4/7/11 12:21:59 29/03/2011 11:49

BIG DOG MOTORCYCLES EUROPEAN HUB - Big Dog Motorcycles Europe, Ambachtsstraat 1, 2400 Mol, Belgium -


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4/7/11 12:22:23


SplitteR While not in any way related to our Budget Bobber Build Off, this quick and dirty Sportster from Sickboyz meets that ÂŁ5k qualification nicely, and goes to show what can be achieved quickly and inexpensively.



02/07/2011 11:06

Custom: Lane Splitter

Picked up for a sobering £2,800 from the world’s favourite auction site – apparently all credit to Jane, who spotted it while waiting for her probation officer – this 883C barely acclimatised to Sickboyz new home before it was pulled down and a lot of the heavy stuff removed: they were on a mission. California Dreamin’ was in a week and they were taking it with them. Some bits came easy – the tank is one that Stigs has had kicking around for a while, so that was appropriated double-quick – but much of the rest was fabricated or modified, with only a few bits and pieces bought in, to keep the costs down. The skinny lane-splitter bars, with integral LED indicators, were made in-house and fitted with the original switchgear, matched to sparkly red grips, while the now-homeless speedo got a new bracket to mount it simply off the top yoke, dwarfing a tiny bottom mount headlamp. It was to set the theme of the bike: narrow, minimal … and cool. Stigs’ old XL tank was dropped onto the frame’s top tube at the jaunty angle known as Friscomounted, courtesy of a hole conveniently drilled across the top tube, but it got a little more complicated at the back. It’s probably worth starting with the rear frame mods first, which are nothing more sinister than cutting off the rear struts mudguard and cleaning up the wound, because they would have extended way beyond the end of the seriously bobbed rear mudguard, which itself had started life as the bobbed version of the original bagger mudguard and now makes it beyond the wheel spindle. And then they

fabricated a bracket to support the seat springs for the Custom Chrome, Bates-type tuck-and-roll seat which incorporates the mounting for the rear indicators, keeping them tucked in tight, and finished off the job with a pair of Burly Brand 10½-inch Slammer shocks. Why bother with the indicators? Because this is still a fully legal custom, even if it is stretching the spirit of the law a little, passingoff the fork brace as a mudguard. Okay, and the side-mount plate,



02/07/2011 11:06

XR1200X Partly to remind folk that the XR1200 Trophy season is underway, but mainly to follow-on from the two fat-tyred XL1200s, we reckoned it was about time to take another, longer look at the bike that will be taking Sportster aspirations forwards.


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02/07/2011 15:44

Quickspin: XR1200X

When it was first announced, Harley were a little cagey about referring to the new XR as a member of the Sportster family, and we could see what they meant, even if we questioned the wisdom in that case of writing “Sportster” in big letters on a timing cover that really should have become common across the 4-cam family by now. The newcomer didn’t slot conveniently into the XL range, but with Harley’s management knowing then what we only know now – they work a long way ahead of what they tell us and have the next three-to-five years mapped out at any given time – I would have thought the more logical plan would have been to put distance between the XL designation and Sportster name, reapplying the latter to the XR as the natural successor to the new, sportier Harley-Davidson. But then a 4-cam, XL will always be generically a Sportster and to try and change that for the sake of a

marketing strategy would only feed resentment among its loyal fanbase. But for that timing cover, the XR could be built up into a sub-brand of its own: the MG to Harley-Davidson’s Rover, if you like, although the associations aren’t necessarily that brilliant. I was going to go for the Lexus/Toyota relationship, but that’s the wrong end of the market. I’m not talking about a range of bikes based round the XR1200-version of the Sportster engine so much as a wider range of capacities based on single cylinder versions of the same, providing the bridge that Harley need to bring a new audience to their door, and using nothing more than a couple of crank and barrel combinations could give them a range of capacities. From an XR750-inspired single cylinder bike that meets multiple international market requirements for an entry level direct access bike, to the current 1200, with a bigger single and a stripped, lightweight 750cc twin between them, there would be a tangible, credible range of bikes; and if the street XR750 introduced a new, radically lightened but conventional-looking frame, they could really capitalise on the race bike’s success. We know that a stripped competition XR750 weighs a paltry 145kg / 320lbs, and that contains all the heavy stuff – like the engine, frame, wheels, forks and rudimentary bodywork. A battery, lighting rig and the brakes required to arrest that sort of weight – even an electric start – would add a few more pounds but there’s a massive 105kg / 230lbs to eat into before you match the 250kg / 551lb dry weight of a current XR/XL model. Maybe reduce the mass in the gearbox for the XR-range – perhaps make space for a sixth gear – and

AmV47.XR1200X.indd 27


02/07/2011 15:45

Twin Pans What’s the chance, you’ve got to ask, of finding a bike that so beautifully sets the context of the replica ’51 Pan that we featured only a couple of issues ago? Actually, very good as it happens, because we seem to be seeing more Panheads than Evos at the moment.


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02/07/2011 12:28

Classic: Twin Pans

And you couldn’t have hoped for a better contrast for the fake Fifty-One than Stevan Chappell’s ’53 Panhead … well, not without finding a genuine ’51 and I just know the phone will ring as soon as this comes out with just such a beast, but hey? This is more than close enough. The real joy is that the whole ethos behind the build is different: Dave has got a brand new Pan, while Steve has got its sixty-year old younger brother … in a manner of speaking. Original parts weren’t part of the consideration to Dave, but are everything to Steve, even down to the serial numbers where it matters. And despite both being full nut and bolt assemblies from scratch, Dave’s glittering showroomfresh condition reflects the fact it has been put together from new parts, and Steve has managed not only to avoid over-restoring his ’53, but has actually retained the patina of the bike, so it looks like an exceptionally well-kept classic. And both Dave and Steve got exactly what they wanted. It’s worth digging out that feature again now and cross-referencing that write up to this in terms of the finishes, because this has been put together as the Deluxe Group Spec for that year, and as such it has as much chrome as The Motor Company saw fit to furnish it with, with only a few periodcorrect additions like the swooping rear bumper, fender tips and the marker lights, which are the genuine, beautiful glass-lensed bullseyes at the front and the closest modern facsimiles available at the rear. Here is the truth of Harley-Davidson’s heritage, beyond the rose-tinted wrapround shades that have invested older bikes with a later obsession with chrome. Its black-painted tin primary is lifted by the chrome clutch and inspection covers, and it’s a polished, not a chrome-plated aluminium front brake plate, and all of those are only by virtue of it being the Deluxe Group Finish, otherwise they would have been in black, along with the fork tins, covers and sliders, and the wheel rims.

AmV47.STEVES.PANS.indd 31


02/07/2011 12:29


PAN Custom shows are very strange events, where reputations are made and maintained, and to be placed is truly a significant achievement. First seen at this year’s Ally Pally show, Twin Pan took a creditable third place in the Modified Harley-Davidson Class, but at California Dreamin’ it struck gold.


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04/07/2011 03:49

Custom: Twin Pan

Resplendent in its heavy red flake paint, the tops of its pushrod tunnels three cooling fins too far away from its upturned pan shaped rocker boxes to be a true Panhead, and too far away from each other at the bottom to be anything other than a Twin Cam, Nick Edgeley’s ride represents the most ambitious build from the most recent authorised dealership to set up an in-house custom shop: take a bow, the team at Guildford Custom Cycles. You can discuss the logic of it stealing first ahead of the two Shaw bikes that came first and second at the Alexandra Palace, but the truth of it is that it was the best bike on the day, as decided by peer jury – like Ally Pally – and a few of us media types who are expected to know a good bike when we see it. The bigger achievement is that it has placed consistently well all year round, but there’s no doubting that a win is the cherry on top of the cake. And all this from an estate agent who turned his back on the dark side, and has

been instrumental – with the full support of an accomplished team in the service department – in pushing Guildford Harley-Davidson in an ambitious direction, following in the footsteps of Warr’s and more recently Shaw HarleyDavidson, in building custom bikes. And we’re not talking about a bit of P&A here – in fact we’re not even talking about a lot of P&A – but full-on custom bikes that stand on their own merit. This, for example, is a 2003 Night Train – enough of a Night Train to qualify for the Modified Harley-Davidson Class as it currently stands – and there’s no small irony that the first of Harley’s Dark Customs has also turned its back on the dark side. In fairness there’s not a lot of the Night Train left: the original 21-inch front wheel escaped the ignominy of the left-overs box as, to Michael’s embarrassment, did the rotors, but everything else has seen the spanner or – in the case of the frame, seeking an extra six degrees of rake – the gas axe.

AmV47.GILFORD.PAN.indd 37


02/07/2011 19:16

Apparently full-blown indoor custom shows are like the buses of proverb: you wait for ages and then two turn up at the same time. On the second of our rash of Bank Holidays in May, the destination board said Bournemouth and everyone headed for the seaside.

California Dreamin’

It’s not necessarily the first place you’d think of, when looking for a national expo, isn’t Bournemouth: it’s hardly central, and there’s not brilliant transport links to the rest of the country, but it’s big enough for someone to have built the Bournemouth International Centre to cater for such events, and there’s the important fact that there should be plenty to do in the surrounding town in the evening, or should you need a break during the day, which – in fairness – you couldn’t really say of the Ally Pally. And, I’ve got to say, it’s a formula the seemed to work well, certainly for a first, untried event, with full halls, a good balance of trader and builders, with a well-supported custom show at its heart. It’s been a long time since I’ve been in the halls from set-up to pull-down, but having ponced a lift from The Hogfather’s Travelling Circus (bought to you in association with Tatton Brewery), I felt some obligation to roll my sleeves up and pitch in so I’d feel less guilty when the Can-Am Spyder arrived, and you get a different sense of a show, and particularly the people who are showing bikes or trading. You also get an idea of how well the organisation is working, and that inspired confidence.


The BIC itself is a bigger venue than you might imagine, and it turned out that California Dreamin’ was in two sizable halls with a couple of good-sized bars and its own foyer at the rear of the building, and it filled the space well without the embarrassing gaps that don’t go down with punters, because it looks like they’re not getting value for money, and at £20 on the door to get in – £15 in advance – you’ve got be sure you can deliver a full programme.

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04/07/2011 15:14

Event: California Dreamin’ 28/29 May 2011

There were a few complaints about the size of the venue, but most were targeted at the non-arrival of the Evel Knievel Showcase who pulled-out giving 24 hours notice apparently unable to secure the necessary insurance cover, and with more space than usual round the worldclass show bikes – including, notably, the strongest Modified Harley-Davidson field that I’ve ever seen in the UK – and a strong desire to see the event succeed, even the most vociferous were broadly supportive. There was excellent trade support from many of the UK’s better established builders, and Harley’s three authorised dealers from the South-East, each having spread their wings and on the look-out for lucrative custom work outside their allotted catchment areas, had also headed west and all had a vested interest in that modified class.


AMV.47.CAL.DREAMIN.indd 43


04/07/2011 15:14

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4/7/11 12:22:58

stu for your Milwaukee tractor:


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4/7/11 12:23:29

Meteo check: Hot. Sunny. Some light cloud but nothing to concern yourself with. Cool evening Mediterranean breeze (bring a sweater).

Euro Festival H-D

The Ride to the Sun Golfe de St Tropez, 12-15 May 2011

The event known colloquially as St Stropez is the first big European meeting of the year, and as the season opener for what hopes to be a bountiful biking summer ahead there can be no better place to start in earnest than at the Euro Festival H-D in the sunny Golfe de St Tropez. Now in it’s 5th year and steadily growing, this year it experienced its largest crowd to date with over 10,000 people at the main site in Port Grimaud and many more attending free events in the neigbouring villages of Grimaud, Coglin, La Croix Valmer and La Garde Freinet. Officially a HOG event which means you need to pay for entry – preregistration prices of €50 for HOG members, €65 for non-members or €70 at the gate – which would be a good enough reason to stay away for anyone having an aversion to all-things HOG. Why pay to sit amongst flag-waving-patch-wearing ‘Life Members’? But if you feel that way, I’d urge you to reconsider. The presence of stereotypical HOG members at this event is no more than at other Harley events so breathe easy. In fact, the overall feeling at Euro Festival is not that ‘Hoggy’ at all. For sure, there are many chapter


AMV.47.StTROPEZ.indd 48

03/07/2011 12:23

Events: St Tropez. 12-15 May 2011

members displaying their local affiliations and their spray-on weekend tattoos but there are many more not doing so. In fact there’s a broad mix of people and bikes to satisfy all tastes - unless you ride a crotch-rocket and took a wrong turn. So what does your entry fee get you after coming such a long way, whether riding all the way via L’Autoroute du Soliel or la Route Napoleon, making part of the journey by the Autotrain or fly-ride? The main event itself is in Port Grimaud on the site of Les Prairies de la Mer, where you exchange your paper ticket for an event wristband. There’s plenty of security, so you’d be doing well if you managed to avoid their wrist-band checking activities during the weekend. Les Prairies de la Mer is ordinarily a beachside summer holiday village with rental accommodation perfect for the event but maybe not for a good-nights kip! Tree-lined streets are full of bikes riding past or parked outside the holiday homes, and market traders from across Europe are given a large area on the way to the beach front. All the usual accoutrements of a bike event are represented, plus a popular HeadBanger Motorcycles stand squeezed in showing off their 2011 line-up of semi-custom bikes. The beachfront promenade has several bars and the dealer tents mainly from France, Italy and Spain, which offer something a little different from what is on offer in perhaps your local franchise in the UK; and situated right on the beach you’ll find the Main Stage. There are some holiday cabins right on the beachfront and during a regular summer vacation this would be prime property, but during Euro Festival your view may change depending on your disposition. If you want to feel as though you are actually ‘in’ the bar while being on your balcony at the same time then book one fast! If not – and this was a somewhat random choice upon booking – there will be no sleep ’til Monday! There are alternative choices on-site or a short walking distance away that offer an opportunity for a more peaceful recuperation.

AMV.47.StTROPEZ.indd 49



03/07/2011 12:23

I’ve got no idea why it’s taken so long to give the American Motorcycle Owners Club – or AMOC – a name-check in the pages of American-V, except perhaps that we’re a long way from their stamping ground in the Home Counties.

AMOC It couldn’t last forever though, especially as the president of AMOC in Surrey, Viscount Mick works at Guildford Harley-Davidson, and when a call came through to see if I fancied judging their one day custom show, it was a no-brainer. It didn’t matter that I hate judging: I didn’t even check the calendar … but I also didn’t think to make sure that Mick knew I was up for it, and by the time I did he’d got Custom Chrome’s Andy Tozer, to do the honours instead, so I just went along for


the ride, blitzing down from Northants, stretching the 8Ball’s legs … and getting slightly lost in Dorking. That was good news, as it happens, because Andy – as the front man in a band, Badger, in his spare time – is comfortable with a microphone and is comprehensible, whereas if you ever wondered why I learned to write things down, you only need to try and hold a conversation with me without my trusty translator, Amanda, by my side to realise we’d still be outside the Pilgrim in Dorking,

AMV.47.AMOC.indd 52

03/07/2011 12:53

The sun was shining, the roads were dry and apart from a bike that engaged me, what more could I have needed for a good old blitz down to one of my favourite rallies?

Roundheads Revenge We were attending the ‘Revenge’ for the third year running, but this year I was being let off the leash and covering it, while Andy headed south to Dorking and an AMOC event, returning later that night. Arriving on Saturday, the event was in full swing and we were met by a car park full of bikes and custom cars, hot rods, an unhealthy number of trikes and a couple of fabulous traditional steam engines smoking away to themselves; and lots of people milling around, perusing the custom show and generally being sociable.


Picking our way through to the camping field, to find a place to pitch, we bumped into our good friends, Sue and Chaos, who offered us the use of their tent as they’d decided to go home for the night – they only live down the road. So we gladly dumped our stuff in their tent, which helped anchor it against the gales, grabbed the cameras and went in search of the chill-out tent and a coffee. Refreshed, Andy saddled-up the ‘Vision in Black’ and continued south, but not before I spotted a Harley hoody among the stalls pedalling their wares from biker jewellery, clothing, leathers and genuine Harley merchandise. It was the same as the one that I’d drooled over at Stratstone’s Wolverhampton dealership a couple of years

AMV.47.NASEBY.indd 54

03/07/2011 11:46

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Celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, Bridgewater HOG’s Cider Rally was always going to be a good one, and it was – even the weather cooperated!

Cider Rally

29 April – 2 May 2011 With only flies as a trophy of a memorable ride down – the A49, flirting with the Welsh border, is always a good run south for us, but with the sun out and coinciding with the day of the Royal Wedding ensuring quiet roads, we carved the corners all the way down to the Wye valley and onto a joyously traffic-free M5 – we even managed to give the bike wash facilities a miss on arrival at Sand Bay, just around the headland from Weston-Super-Mare. Moggy and her team have been using Sand Bay Holiday camp for a few years now and it’s ideal for this kind of event with lots of chalets available and still more room for camping, with large dining facilities – there a good choice of food included in the ticket of this half-board rally – and two bars, one with a stage. There were some traders, though not as many as in previous years. The limit of a thousand tickets is always oversubscribed, and having already outgrown its previous venues at St


Audrie’s Bay and Torquay it’s a scramble to get booked into this popular event when bookings open. It could grow further if Bridgewater wanted, but it’s plenty big as it is so I don’t anticipate it moving any time soon. Being the 20th Anniversary, we got a specially-labelled, complementary bottle of cider in the goody bag with the usual pin and t-shirt, but as Barbara doesn’t drink, I got two! And mine had a lottery number attached to it, which won me a £20 voucher for Riders of Bridgewater! The

AMV.47.CIDER.indd 58

03/07/2011 15:38



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4/7/11 12:24:51

The little Mojave desert city that hosts the Laughlin River Run, down by the Colorado, attracts almost three-million visitors a year, but it wasn’t always like that: the lucrative boom that the city has enjoyed has been relatively recent.

Laughlin River Run Are you feeling lucky?

This small sliver of the Colorado River Valley in what’s known as the Tri-State area, where the borders of Nevada, Arizona and California meet, has been transformed into a vibrant gambling resort in just a few decades thanks to the vision of one man; Don Laughlin. Formerly known informally as South Pointe, due to its proximity to Nevada’s southernmost tip, a settlement was established in the 1940’s but consisted of nothing more than a motel and bar that catered to the gold and silver miners in the area and provided overspill from Bullhead City, across the river in Arizona: the construction camp for workers building the nearby Davis Dam. Once the dam was completed, with only a handful of miners left to support it, the motel and bar soon fell into disrepair until, in 1964, Don Laughlin, then-owner of the Las Vegas 101 Club, flew over


AMV.47.LAUGHLIN.indd 62

03/07/2011 10:40

BIRD on the wire So, the 2012 model announcements will confirm what we’ve known for months now, that the Rocker C is dead. It marks the end of a less than illustrious experiment in changing the shape of the modern Harley-Davidson and its passing hasn’t lead to a public uproar. It was actually a great bike to ride, but it wasn’t without its issues.


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03/07/2011 00:31

Custom: Rocket Bob’s Blackbird

We’re starting to see evidence of that with the number of custom Rockers that are filtering through, in a way that we didn’t see with the previous attempt to change the shape of the Softail, the Deuce, but then in fairness, once you’d swapped-out the tank and rear wheel with its VR-style mudguard, you were effectively left with a Softail with custom forks. The Rocker’s genes are a little harder to bury. And so they should be, because while there were a great many things that I would have changed about the Rocker, there are elements that really worked well … okay, so I liked the cast aluminium oil tank with its cooling fins that continued the lines of those on the rear pot, and the back end of the Softailstyle frame with its wider swing-arm that took a very well-behaved 240-section rear tyre. And I knew that I liked them but didn’t know just how much until I turned up at Oxford Harley-Davidson to take out their then-new Ultra Limited Demo a year or so ago, and spotted a Rocker in the showroom that had been put together by a local bike builder, Rocket Bobs. That bike was based on the unlovely standard Rocker, which while it had the benefit of a seat that wasn’t stuffed full of the ironmongery that folded out to create the Rocker C’s ‘trick’ pillion, suffered for the most ill-advised cosmetic finish that Harley-Davidson has used on any motorcycle ever. Rocket Bob’s Pete Pearson had done the decent thing by replacing almost all of it with a deep lustrous black powder coat – wheels, handlebar risers, fork lowers and the oil tank – but there was more to it than that. The silly hugger – a clever idea to reduce the gap between the wheel and mudguard, but poorly realised by replacing it with a bigger and less attractive gap between the seat and mudguard – was gone, and an abbreviated, more conventional Softail-style mudguard replaced it. It could have been a new Night Train – arguably it should have been the new Night Train – and made the news pages that issue: Rocket Bobs was on our radar. Fast forward two years, and after putting a lot of work into developing a range of stuff for Dyna models, Pete’s been playing with a Rocker again, and he’s taken it a lot further: I’ll let him explain …


AmV47.ROCKET.indd 67


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4/7/11 12:26:00

Quickspin: Can-Am Spyder

Not your typical American-V fare, I’ll grant you, but beneath the bodywork of this strangest of three wheelers beats the heart of a 4-stroke, North-American V-twin … and I’ve not met anyone who hasn’t secretly harboured a desire to swing a leg across one, if only to find out what they’re like.



My own curiosity was aroused at the NEC bike show in 2009, where something close to this model was displayed in matt black, facing a dressed version in nearly the same yellow as my Buell Cyclone. Can-Am were there to launch their new RT Tourer, but I only had eyes for the RS Roadster. Ironically, it was in the halls of the NEC five years earlier where I met someone who had worked on the engine for this, although at the time the Spyder was a news story that was yet to break. We were talking about V-Twins generically, and he was putting Canada forward as a country with a reputation for building performance V-Twins, referring of course to the Aprilia Mille of the time. We are much more aware of the role of Rotax now, not least because of their part in the development of the Helicon engine for Buell

– which many misreported as being the engine used in the Mille, or at least a development of that – and those of us who have been kicking around motorcycles for most of our lives will remember the Can-Am name as being applied to the side of post-BSA B40 army surplus motorcycles, interchangeable with Bombardier, Armstrong and even Harley-Davidson, all powered by a Rotax engine. That’s an international can of worms that we really don’t need to go into here, but in precis Rotax were founded in Germany in 1920; relocated to Austria in 1943; fitted a Rotax engine into Bombardier’s Ski-Doo for the first time in 1962; was bought by Bombardier in 1970; started making 4-stroke engines in 1982 and engines for Aprilia in 1983 and BMW in 1993 – not forgetting the ’87 Matchless G80 or MZ’s 1992 500R and their Seymour-Powell Skorpion Prototype.


AmV47.CAN.AM.indd 73


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p077_avjulaug11.indd 77

4/7/11 12:26:22

Project: Victory Vegas Stripper

the Vegas

on the rear, but I never had anywhere to put one before. We’ve got multiple concepts for some radical but simple forks, but the big headache will be working out how we can control the air in the three very different air shocks: it’ll be easy to dump, which will look cool-as when we park up, but much more complicated to inflate each to a preset pressure at the push of a single button. The bars will work as previously planned, with Exile weld-on perches, remote master cylinder and our own switchgear, but the chair opens up new opportunities for headlamps and indicators, playing with the asymmetry that comes free with every sidecar outfit. And we’ve given ourselves a deadline – we love deadlines! The 2011 Big Twin show at Rosmalen in November. There we will make the most of the right-hand-drive advantages of a left-hand sidecar hiding the less interesting side of any American motorcycle, and should be able to come up with something pretty spectacular … as well as being the first Victory to be shown at this level, as far as we’ve been able to find out. Wallace and Gromit, eat your hearts out!

Stripper gets a bit on the side

If you’ve been round Thundercity’s workshops at in Leeds, the sad sight of our half-stripped Vegas, might make you think the project has stalled, but not a bit of it. It’s just got more complicated. The problem with amateur custom projects is that they grow, and with the best will in the world, I’m strictly amateur when it comes to building: I invested my time and energies elsewhere some time ago, and I’ve got the same focusing issues as every other goldfish-brained enthusiast. We see something pretty and go for it, and if we’re not very careful we can end up never settling on a final idea – ever-conscious that this might be our only shot at the custom bike we always wanted. That route can easily lead to an “unfinished project” in the language of the classified ad section, and it’s testament to the rise of professional custom shops that such things are rarities these days. No, I’m not letting you down gently: the Vegas Stripper is just going through an identity crisis ... or rather it was until the penny dropped, and the bike that was going to be the next project after this was completed changed the game plan. The second bike won’t be built now, because the Vegas Stripper will be everything that was going to be, and more. Inspired by the bike that won the Modified Harley-Davidson and Jammer old School

classes in Mainz and did well in St Tropez, the Stripper is going to get a bit on the side: a 1968 Watsonian Palma Sidecar that was destined for a German boxer that would have looked silly signwritten with American-V. Why? Because it’s going to earn its keep, hauling magazines and camping kit around, and being entered into every custom show at every event we attend, showcasing the talents of those who helped realise its potential, raising the profile of the magazine and demonstrating that sidecars can be cool. It will also show off 8-Ball Custom Paintwork’s talent, because we’ve given them a hell of a canvas to cover and they’ve risen to the challenge: and yes, the bike will match the sidecar’s scheme. As currently planned, it will ride on airshocks all round – so it can be run as a low pressure cushion of air for photography, stiffer for hard riding, and slammed on the deck for showing – all supplied by an air tank in the sidecar so it’ll get to normal ride height instantly and silently, which will be topped up by a compressor when on the move. I always wanted an air tank for the Nick Gale-supplied Biker Buddy Pro set-up

Words and pics: Andy Hornsby

Yes, the exhaust & drive should be on the other side: it’s a mock-up, give us a break :-)


AmV47.PROJ.VICTORY.indd 78

04/07/2011 15:10

The project has moved up a gear and I’ve got to start with thanks Gabby at Cycle Enterprises who had a big hand in rescuing my dying frame. And also thanks to Bruce Tessmer at S&S, who recently contacted Am-V central asking if we would be interested in reviewing their new style SPO Touring mufflers and, if we wanted, their new Power Tune Duals too. Coming at the time I was casting around for a new system to replace the Bubba Cross-Dressers that have done sterling service for many years, our response was understandably enthusiastic, Bruce was careful to make sure of my Road King’s spec and we armed him with the its VIN number to make identification as precise as possible.



Project Road King Bearing in mind the bike’s near stock spec, and that the engine was already out of the frame and part disassembled on Geoff’s benches at Cycle Enterprises – and, I guess, wanting to show the new S&S exhaust system in its best light – he suggested additional performance upgrades too, and sent them through at the same time.

new silencers to the low rumble of an American 1960’s muscle car, and I reckon I can live with that. The Xylan Black end caps on these new silencers should really suit the theme of the bike and their flattened section should also compliment the panniers above.

(Fig 1&2) SPO™ Touring Mufflers, (kit featuring Black End Caps, Standard, Chrome,1995-up) S&S Catalog Part number: 550-0002:

(Fig 3) S&S Power Tune Duals (Pipe, Exhaust, Header, 2 Into 2,1995-2008 Touring) S&S Catalog Part number: 550-0003:

This is a really heavy pair of cans, which hopefully means they’ll carry plenty of silencing tech and won’t be silly-loud. I don’t like very loud ’pipes: they attract too much unwelcome attention from the public, neighbours and of course the rozzers, but they also really get on my nerves on a decent run out. S&S liken the sound of their

These are a great looking pair of headers which moves the rear cylinder’s header underneath the frame in order to protect the pillion passenger from radiated heat – a frequent complaint from passengers on Harley’s pre-2010 Touring range – and really tidies up the right hand side. Whether the rear pipe will affect ground clearance remains to be seen, but the promotional photo of the system in-situ with FIG 3 the SPO Touring Muffler fitted to a Twin Cam Road Glide seems to indicate that the Power Tune Duals leave plenty of room. If the SPO Touring Mufflers above aren’t to everyone’s taste, S&S say these Power Tune Duals are compatible with any other slip-on silencers. Apart from looking extremely clean, S&S claim their Power Tune Duals system offers an extra eight horsepower over stock, and I’m looking forward to the difference that will make to my venerable old ’King.



04/07/2011 03:29

Tech: FAQ: Chrome

CHROME Apart from being shiny, heat resistant and coming in varying qualities from excellent to rubbish at a wide range of prices, what do we really know about chrome?

We just happen to be based just a few hundred yards from Niphos Metal Finishing, who have something of a reputation for plating in the motorcycle and automotive sector, and spoke to Jonathan Wilcox, one of the partners, to find out how little we actually know. In the first of a series debunking the myths, here’s everything you wanted to know about chrome but were afraid to ask. AmV: What is chrome? JW: In decorative use, chrome is used as a highly-reflective, hard-wearing surface that is resistant to tarnishing. Normally deposited on a nickel base, it is applied as a thin coating of less than 1 micron of micro-porous chromium. AmV: And non decorative use? JW: Hard chrome, as used on fork stanchions, is applied directly to the steel of a new stanchion and can be as little as 3 to 5 microns. Fork stanchions can be refurbished, but they are first ground undersize, then plated oversize and ground back to the original diameter resulting in a nominal thickness of 100 microns of micro-cracked chromium, which helps hold a lubricant. AmV: That is obviously a different process to replating covers or other parts? JW: Yes, the basic process for replating previously plated steel components is to chemically clean the component using vapour de-greasing and a caustic soda based alkaline cleaner. The plating is then stripped by connecting the component as the anode in a lead lined tank of sulphuric acid, where the lead tank is the cathode. If steel, it is then de-rusted in hydrochloric acid, or in the case of delicate components, by connecting it as the cathode in a caustic cleaner. The initial preparation for aluminium is slightly different: the part is vapour de-greased and then connected as the anode in the caustic cleaner or the sulphuric acid bath, which removes the chrome layer. It is then immersed in a nitric acid bath to remove any nickel or copper – which can only be done if the aluminium component does not have any brass or steel bushes, pins etc because they will dissolve in the nitric acid – before continuing as for steel stripping, in a bath of sulphuric acid. The components are then polished through a variety of steps, leaving steel components at a 320 to 400 grit finish, and non ferrous components fully polished to a bright finish. Then they are ready for replating, which for steel and copper alloys means cleaning using vapour de-grease followed by anodic dip in caustic cleaner, and an immersion in hydrochloric acid before the most important stage: connecting it an the anode in a sulphuric acid bath immediately prior to plating, which ensures a perfect chemical bond between the component and the first nickel coating: we don’t use copper except on zinc-based die castings. The process differs for aluminium components which, after de-greasing, are


immersed in the caustic cleaner and then into a nitric acid bath. For castings, hydrofluoric acid is added to the nitric to dissolve any silicates etc, and then there’s a zincate dip to seal the aluminium immediately prior to nickel plating. After the nickel plate, which varies in time, current densities, dependent on the component being plated, the component is fully rinsed and finally chrome plated. More often than not components are double nickel plated and polished before final chroming. AmV: What is the difference between cheap and expensive chrome, and is the difference easily spotted? JW: The difference is primarily the initial preparation – or the lack of it – and the plating thickness: you can usually spot this by holding the part in good light, where you’ll notice signs of the initial polishing through the plated surface. This indicates a meagre deposition of metal, not having allowed enough time in the plating vat to sufficiently build-up the surface, or else a failure to polish the component between the nickel and chrome stages. AmV: What is “triple plated” chrome? JW: Triple chrome, triple plated chrome or whatever is bollocks and doesn’t imply any standard whatsoever!! It just means that a component has been copper plated before being nickel and finally chrome plated, and it’s misleading. A component that has been “triple plated” typically with 5 microns of copper and 5 microns of Nickel before the final flash of chrome less than a micron thick, is nowhere near as good as a ‘high-build nickel process’ of a single 25 micron layer of nickel, or two (duplex) 15 +15 microns of nickel, beneath the same submicron layer of chrome. Cutting down on the thickness of the nickel layer by using half the depth of copper is inherently bad and can lead to excessive corrosion caused by any perforation of the plating – however caused – exposing steel and copper to the atmosphere and rain, which is dilute sulphuric acid! Steel, copper and sulphuric acid creates a galvanic reaction between the two metals, which accelerates corrosion. Having said that, there are a couple of reputable plating companies who employ a copper/nickel laminate process, and who use sufficient depths of plating to avoid any perforation to base metal, but the price is similar to the high-build nickel process. What you can draw from this is to avoid cheap triple plated chrome at all costs! AmV: What materials can be chrome plated? JW: Most metals can be chromed, except magnesium alloys and titanium. Stainless steel can be chromed, either as a direct process onto the polished stainless or by employing a nickel strike to fully nickel plate the component. Some plastics are chromed, but this is usually done in-house at the manufacturers: most jobbing plating shops can’t accomodate the plant required for low volume work.

AmV: How does chrome differ from nickel, apart from the colour? JW: Chrome and nickel are two entirely different metals. Chrome came in around 1928/9 when automobiles started to become more available to the wider public and not just the well heeled: these customers generally didn’t have a valet to polish the car for a day trip out, and so the non-tarnishing process of chrome started to become popular among the masses. I prefer the colour of nickel by the way. AmV: Can chrome be coloured at the plating stage? And what is black chrome. JW: Simply no. Black chrome is a chrome plating process but with an impurity which – if I remember right – is acetic acid based: this causes the deposited chrome to be of a smokey grey right through to optical black. AmV: How is chrome plating priced-up? JW: The pricing of chrome plating is largely dependent on the condition of the job when it arrives to us: it is expensive when done right, but the results will speak fo themselves. Take, for example, two identical chrome front mudguards: one from a bike that has been garaged all its life, and the other hasn’t. The former would require approximately an hour of pre-polishing followed by a double nickel chrome: price for this in today’s market £90. The latter would need approximately 2 hours pre-polishing followed by maybe 3 or 4 nickel deposits, with intermediary polishing to remove imperfections not possible with the first polish, and then chromed: price £170. As well as condition, as a trade we are heavily reliant on electricity and gas to power our processes, and on metal and metal salts to complete the process. You will have seen the price rises in your own energy bills over the last five years, but maybe won’t have noticed the price rises in metal – unless, like me, you’ve had the lead nicked off your roof. Five years ago nickel was £4,500 per ton, but today’s price is anywhere between £20,000 and £26,000 per ton. That’s why a Sportster primary cover, for example, would have cost £80 to be chrome plated five years ago, but todays price is closer to £240! I can assure you that the difference isn’t lining our pockets!! It is increasingly difficult to pass these price increases on to the customer – who won’t be aware of the costs – but if we don’t, we’ll fail as a business and another artisan company involved in the classic and custom market will disappear, sadly not to be replaced. Not at this level, at least, because costs can only be reduced at the expense of quality. Technical Expert: Jonathan Wilcox of Niphos Metal Finishing: 01270 214081

AmV47.FAQ.Chrome.indd 82

04/07/2011 15:09


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5/7/11 11:59:58


FAT BOY The story so far: our beloved long term Fat Bob has gone back to Harley and in its place we’ve got the long term Fat Boy allocated to a mainstream title last year, complete with the modifications that were made to it. And you know what it’s like when you buy a used bike?


AMV.47.FATBOY.indd 84

03/07/2011 18:01

Long Term Roadtest: Harley-Davidson FLSTF Fat Boy

We actually had the opportunity to keep the Fat Bob for another year and first sight of the Fat Boy made me wish we’d taken that option, but in reality we’d taken it as far as we could without getting really involved so we faced the new challenge with hope, if a few misgivings. To say it wasn’t to our tastes – and Rich and I were in uncharacteristic accord on this – was an understatement, and every additional mile was filled with ideas of how we could change it … and every time I stopped at a dealership, the conversation-starter was the seat: “What the f…!”. I hadn’t realised just how widespread the term ‘hit with the ugly stick’ had become, but it’s national, and I eventually became quite defensive of the ‘Signature Series Seat with Rider Backrest’ – a sucker for the underdog, me – which was singled out for the most criticism. Rich had tried to remove the rider’s backrest without success, and I found the simple release entirely by accident – while unscrewing anything that looked like it might re relevant – and it joined the wobbly screen and ‘Detachables’ backrest and rack in a corner of the warehouse at the earliest opportunity when I took charge of the bike for a few weeks. The main reason I’d got it was to fit the Road Angel BikeTrac, once Chester Harley-Davidson had removed it from the Fat Bob. It’s a bloody useful little thing and gives that extra bit of reassurance if you move around the country as much as we do, and it has just been upgraded too – internally through its own software – and will now alert nominated people by text or email in the event that the bike tilts beyond 70-degrees. It is pitched as a very sensible upgrade for off-road riders who are trekking off into the wilderness on their own for hours or days at a time, but has its uses – even if we don’t like to dwell on them for too long – for road riders as well: if I was pinned beneath a bike in a ditch, I’d be quite pleased if someone was aware of it and knew exactly where I was. So, with the seat off and looking for somewhere to locate the BikeTrac, and the screen and backrest missing, the Fat Boy reappeared before my very eyes, and I determined not to put the

touring seat back on if I could possibly avoid it. Maybe for touring, but if it were my own bike, the seat would be heading for eBay where it would hopefully find a home that appreciated it more. I felt vindicated in requesting that the original Fat Bob seat had been returned with the bike when the Tall Boy seat had been fitted, and had continued to be the seat of choice for me on any solo journeys up to fifty miles range. The Tall Boy was always used for two-up work or serious distances, but didn’t do the style of the underlying streetbike any favours. Sadly, the original Fat Boy seat – and it turned out, the captive nuts in the rear mudguard and the shouldered bolts that also serve as the forward mount of the removable pillion pad – are lurking in a corner of Black Bear Harley-Davidson’s workshop, although I suspect that the captive nuts and associated bolts will have been recycled on something like a Street Glide needing a single seat conversion. A chance conversation with one of the guys at Harley’s logistics company suggested that there might be one in the cage of take-off parts at their facility, and that if I signed for it, I’d probably be able to borrow it while a permanent solution was found. Would that help? Damn right! They wouldn’t happen to have a pair of mirrors too, would they: it would save me taping over one of the reflectors in the split lenses of the accessory mirrors. Yes? Result! Fitting it was going to be a challenge, but having replaced the weird captive nuts that held the tailpiece in place on my Cyclone – a nut at the end of a tube that acts like a rubber rawlbolt when tightened – I wriggled the two surviving items through the slot designed for the captive nuts, to protect the paintwork, and carefully screwed their bolts in, using a decent sized washer with a shoulder to keep everything lined up nicely. It’s only a temporary solution until the right parts can be ordered, so I didn’t bother working out a way to accommodate the pillion’s front mount but as it wasn’t the matching seat I wasn’t too fussed: it wouldn’t need to take a pillion and it would be anchored well enough mounted on the rear bolt to act as a base for the Deemeed if necessary, attached to the refitted detachable backrest if required. Indeed I required that they were removed after the pictures were taken, because it’s a look that really suits the bike.


AMV.47.FATBOY.indd 85


03/07/2011 19:14

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p087_avjulaug11.indd 87

4/7/11 12:31:13

Long Term

8-Ball VISION It’s been a quiet couple of months for the Vision, what with being bunkered in the office sorting out subs, but we did manage to get something approaching a day out when we had Harley-Davidson’s Ultra Limited on test. I threw my lighter camera bag over my shoulder, and we pointed the two extreme ends of the American Touring solution towards the North Wales coast, and a fresh sea breeze in place of the stifling heat that was baking the Cheshire plain. And, let’s face it, the only way the choice could have been more extreme would have been if the Ultra was a CVO model … or ideally the CVO Road Glide because all the feedback we’re getting supports the improved comfort of the frame-mounted fairing of the bike that Harley UK are nervous of reintroducing to these shores. And I’ve got to say that Harley need to do something if they want to keep their touring crown, because the Vision wiped the floor with the Ultra Limited in every respect except on-board toys and luggage space … and classic good looks. Victory’s budget 8-Ball Vision is faster, harder accelerating, more nimble, more stable, is more comfortable over short and long distances providing you’re wearing a full-face helmet, more fuelefficient and offers better weather protection. And while it’s the cut down, no-frills version of Victory’s Marmite bagger, the instrumentation and trip computer wants for nothing,


and with average and spot fuel consumption, an average speed reading, twin trip meters and a reliable fuel range read-out all available at a flick on the left-hand’s index finger – alongside a permanent clock, air temperature and surprisingly useful gear indicator – displayed in an easy-to-read LCD information centre beneath the comprehensive bank of warning lights, makes it easy to plan long distances and a refuelling strategy from the saddle. The Ultra Limited will get the full treatment next issue, but in the interests of balance, it’s worth mentioning that it wasn’t far behind

AMV.47.VISION.indd 88

03/07/2011 19:13

Main Dealer



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p090_avjulaug11.indd 90

4/7/11 12:32:56

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American-V # ONE

2011 Calendar July 14-16 Rock And Bike Fest

Loughborough, Leicestershire

A new venue of a Grade 2 listed country house in a 360 acre estate, for this major music event with New Model Army, Quireboys and Toyah Wilcox headlining. License regs prohibit backpatch clubs. Earlybird tickets available now for £25.

July 14-17 Faro Rally

Faro, Portugal 30th Anniversary of the rally on the southern coast of Portugal.

July 15-17

HDRCGB 12+1 Triple Rally Eastbourne, BN23 7QH

Rock ‘n’ Roll night, ride out and a fantastically bizarre theme night ‘The Roman Invasion of Hawaii’ ... Cheap beer, edible food, bbq and the usual rally stuff. American v twins only: other makes and cars by strict prior arrangement. Members £12/non members £17. Gates locked 11pm-7am.

July 23

Belfast Custom Bike Show Custom House Square, Belfast. Hot rods, scooters and old skool custom cars will be joining custom bikes at this established event. Noon til 6pm with after-show party tba

Oulton Park

July 16-17

August 3

Classic Bike Night Speakeasy Cafe Bar, Epping Harleys, Cafe Racers and Classics, 1st Wednesday of the month, sponsored by

August 5-7

Region 3 Rally Middleton in Teesdale, Co Durham HDRCGB’s North East Rally

August 5-7 Bisley

August 5-7

Free Wheels 2011 Courpière Puy de Dome French Hells Angels’ Huge Festival in central France

Chop n Rod Custom Show

August 5-7

NEW DATES for the two day show format with a chilled evening between, with free camping, good food and laid back atmosphere. new site with details soon

Brands Hatch

The Fairmile Arms, Cobham

July 17 Heartbeat

Madeira Drive, Brighton Prequel to Brightona: think of it as a two day event now, but with a couple of months between them.

July 22-24

Silverstone Classic

Towcester. NN12 8TN.

July 22-24

H-D.C Somerset 2011 Rally

Barbarians Rugby Club, TA24 6TR £15 on gate. Late bar, local ride out, bar-b-q, good food, hot showers, sun and beaches and live bands. All bikes welcome. Phone 01934 625737 or 07738 702050http://

July 22-24

Indian Super Rally 2011 Lemmer, Netherlands

The second Super Rally – the last was 1991 – organised by Tony Leenes, Holland’s Mr Indian, with Hennie ‘Hendee’, €50 pre-booked, or €60.

July 23

7th Wolvo Custom Bike Show and Yard Party

Hells Angels Wolverhampton are having a party at The Fort: Custom Show Trophies, Charity Raffle, Food, Bars, Trade Stalls, Auto-Jumble, Bands and Big Frank’s Book Signing. events-page-2/4541874736


August 25

Last Thursday of the month, and sponsored by Warr’s Harley-Davidson

Last Thursday of the month, and sponsored by Warr’s Harley-Davidson

Fabulous rally and stunning rally site. HOG organised and very popular, so book early to avoid disappointment.

XR1200 Trophy Round 5

One day show that takes over Harley UK’s old home town

North Circular Road, London

Harley Night at the Ace

Bowden Rugby Club, Manchester.

July 15-17

Brackley, Northants

Harley Night at the Ace

July 15-17

Great informal rally organised by a now independent, former HOG chapter. . Or contact the Rainy City Hotline: 0161 301 4943

Brackley Festival of Motorcycling

July 28

South of England Rally

Rainy City HDC Rainy Daze

August 21

XR1200 Trophy Round 6/7

August 8-14

The Black Hills Rally Sturgis What do you need to know: massive event, huge big name bands, miles of open road, townfuls of entertainment and glorious weather, with hailstones the size of golfballs every few years.

August 11-14 The Bulldog Bash Shakespeare County Raceway nr Stratford Upon Avon. This fantasia of biker festivals will be pulling out the stops for 2011, as it celebrates its 25th Anniversary. It promises to be an epic, and while it’s too early yet to give details of confirmed bands, these guys don’t do things by half-measures. With a dragstrip, one of the country’s foremost ride-in shows, all the fun of the fair and what should prove to be a top line-up of bands, the Bulldog will be celebrating it’s quarter-century at the top of its lungs. ‘Quick off the Mark’ tickets available now at £50: cut-off date is 1st April and numbers are limited to just 2000.

August 21 Motorcycle Mega Meet & Vintage Aircraft Fly-in Popham Airfield, nr. Basingstoke Annual big bike jumble – £15/pitch, unlimited size – with free entry for bikes over 30 years old, and informal ride-outs to local places to eat ... probably.

North Circular Road, London

August 26-29

Thunder in the Glens Aviemore

“The biggest and best chapter run event in Europe”: huge, great fun, well appointed and well organised, and a good ride there and back

September 15-17 Heart and Soul Rally Newcastle-upon-Tyne Geordie HOG’s Annual Bash at Newcastle Racecourse

September 16-18 International Rally H-DC ’t Centrum, The Netherlands. Live music, DJ, silly games, good food and free breakfast, market, ride out and much, much more. No fires, dogs, Harleys/Buells/Indians only. Visit website for further info.

September 17-18 Annual Sidecar Rally

August 26-29

Popham Airfield, nr. Basingstoke

Walesby Forest, NG22 9NG.

September 29

Walesby International

The Riders Club return to the forest for 2011, and the busy August Bank Holiday slot, for their Intenational Rally.

Harley Night at the Ace

August 26-29

Shipley 32nd Annual International Rally Baildon, Yorkshire.

Shipley Harley-Davidson Club continues to host the UK’s oldest Harley rally, with custom show, charity toy run, hot showers, trade stands, rally merchandise plus good food and beer. Pre book £20/ Gate £25.

August 26-29

The Ace Cafe and Warr’s Harley-Davidson 4-Day Festival North Circular Road, London.

Warr’s will be taking Kings Road Customs and what sounds like one of Harley’s full demo trucks to the iconic London venue for a bank holiday of music and machines for passionate petrolheads.

August 27-29

XR1200 Trophy Round 8 Cadwell Park

August 27-30

Cornish Cream Rally St Ives, Cornwall.

No details to be found so far ...

September 3&4

Kustom Kulture Blastoff 2 Springfields Event Centre, Spalding, Lincs

A celebration of Kustom Art, from custom paint top Graffiti via tattoo and what is generally referred to as lowbrow art. Organised by P&KG magazine, it’s a full-on retro/lifestyle extravaganza.

September 6-11

European Bike Week Faaker See, Austria

Firmly established in the hearts and minds of the long haul Harley set as the must-do event in Europe

September 7

Classic Bike Night

Speakeasy Cafe Bar, Epping

Harleys, Cafe Racers and Classics, 1st Wednesday of the month, sponsored by

North Circular Road, London Last Thursday of the month, and sponsored by Warr’s Harley-Davidson

October 2

Ride to the Wall National Arboretum, Staffordshire Rapidly becoming an institution: all brands of bike welcome.

October 9 Brightona Madeira Drive, Brighton Mammoth day on Madeira Drive in aid of Sussex Heart Charity: huge, all day event.

October 16

Hoggin’ The bridge Severn Crossing / Chepstow Charity Fundraiser that hands Chepstow town centre over to the benevolent riders after a great ride out

October 27

Harley Night at the Ace North Circular Road, London Last Thursday of the month, and sponsored by Warr’s Harley-Davidson

October 29

Hogfather Halloween Party Farmageddon, Southport Freaky haunted house walk after a slapup meal

November 4-6

Big Twin and Zodiac Trade Show Rosmalen, Netherlands The closing trade show of the year, with Zodiac piggy-backing onto the Big Twin Magazine show in Den Bosch, Holland

November 24

Harley Night at the Ace North Circular Road, London Last Thursday of the month, and sponsored by Warr’s Harley-Davidson

December 2-4

September 9-11

Custombike Show

Donington Park

Germany’s season closer

XR1200 Trophy Round 9

Bad Salzuflen, Germany

AmV.47.Calendar.indd 92

03/07/2011 23:10

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Harley Dealers      

Bronze £99 Engine oil and filter change and health check.   Engine oil and filter change plus 99 point check to the Harley-Davidson® 5k mile service checklist.


 Engine oil and filter, transmission and primary oils, spark plugs, clean and relube air filter. Plus brake fluid and 99 point check to the Harley-Davidson® 10k mile service checklist.


                         


 

  Motorcycle Wheel Cleaning Tool 01524 793308





Free Dyno Runs on a Tuesday evening from 5-30pm for Harley and Metric Cruisers. Harley Davidson Stock ECU re-mapping for stage one, two or three set up, with no piggy-back add ons. AMI Harley Certified. Servicing, maintenance, repair. Suppliers of custom parts for Harley and Metric Cruisers BigBoar Motorcycles Bulwark Business Park, Chepstow NP16 5JG Tel: 01291 645999 Suppliers of many major brands check website for details.




0191 430 0060

If we can’t do it or get it - No one can! Visit us at our ebay shop TwinCitymotorcycles

To advertise on the American V classified page Contact Andy Fraser 01778 392054 or Email:

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Motorcycle Parts and Accessories ��� �� ��

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TEL: 01604 588006 EMAIL: 8-12 Stenson Street, St James, Northampton, NN5 5ED


1 year*


5 year*

*warranty. Made in the USA.



Performance Parts for Sportster and XR1200 Models


Unit 6, Love Lane Estate, Bishop’s Castle, Shropshire SY9 5DW Email: malcolm@malarkeyengineering Triple Tree Kits, headlight protection, control kits, chain guards, pulley covers, indicators, grips etc...

Freephone 0800 4580677

For full details of all our exclusive XR1200 parts and Rizoma products please contact us or check out the website: Adrenalin-Moto Ltd, Unit 2, Banks House, Banks Road, Darlington DL1 1YB

Design and Development Motorcycle Engineers 15 years experience building frames, rolling chassis and complete bikes for: Cafe racers, flattrackers, bobbers, trikes, streetfighters and chops. Restorations, completions, machining, welding, wiring & polishing. Yokes, forward controls, girder forks all made in-house

Tel: 01588 630288/638823

To advertise on the American V classified page Contact Andy Fraser 01778 392054 or Email:

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Clothing Vintage Style Clothing Made Stubborn Japan’s Most Famous Biker Denim Traditional Jeans and Jackets Painstakingly Crafted out of the World’s Heaviest Black and Indigo Denim Iron Heart Denim - Heavy-Duty Indulgence - 07740 706464

Classic & Custom Specialists

Custom Bikes ���������������������������� ��������������������� ����������� ����������

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Roadside toolkits Designed for Harley Davidson Motorcycles Saddle Bags & Tool Rolls from £19.99 .99 £39 NOW

Tool-Kits for Harley Davidson & American V-Twin Motorcycles From £19.99 Leather Saddle bags & Tool Rolls from £19.99

Contains just about everything you could ever want or need in a take along Roadside Tool-kit.

Also available pressure guard valve caps & roadside puncture repair kits.

For free delivery Tel: 07841 100533 To advertise on the American V classified page Contact Andy Fraser 01778 392054 or Email:

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Phone: +49 (0) 671 - 8 88 88 - 0 p100_avjulaug11.indd 1 5/7/11 12:13:35

American-V 47 Preview  

Leading spreads and all advertising from American-V issue 47, July/August 2011

American-V 47 Preview  

Leading spreads and all advertising from American-V issue 47, July/August 2011