Hector Arana Jr. got back in the winners circle after a five-race drought, taking the win at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma, CA. Arana Jr. wheeled his Lucas Oil S&S-powered Buell past the Viper Motorcycle Buell of Matt Smith in the final round.
Arana Jr. has been the story of the season. After opening the season with a three-race win streak, the second year rider has been shut out of the winner’s circle since.
His slump was as noteworthy as his win streak – in four races he won only two rounds of competition. He came close in Denver, going to the final against Shawn Gann only to lose when his bike stumbled off the line in the final.
In Sonoma he pulled it all together despite some stiff competition from Smith.
The Arana family finished the first day of qualifying in Sonoma in the top three spots with dad leading the way at 6.89 and Adam and Hector Jr. right behind with 6.90s.
In the last session on Saturday Arana Jr. went to the top position for about 3 minutes with a run of 6.840 seconds. One pair later Smith edged him out for the pole at 6.838 seconds. It was the third number one qualifying performance of the season for Smith and the eighth time an S&S-powered Buell qualified on the pole in the nine races run this year.
Buells took the top four spots in qualifying at Sonoma with Michael Ray (6.841) and Arana Sr. (6.865) following the quick pair.
Arana Sr. came alive in the first round of eliminations with low elapsed time of the event at 6.805 seconds with a win over John Hall. In the second round he held the quick lap of the round as well with a 6.816 at a new track record speed of 198.44 mph against LE Tonglet.
Smith turned back Arana Sr. in the semifinals with a 6.82 to go to his third final of the year.
Arana Jr. wasn’t running as quick as his dad but was still going rounds, getting by Scotty Pollacheck, Jerry Savoie and Katie Sullivan, the local racer appearing in her first semi of her career and the only Suzuki in the round of four.
Arana Jr. had a crushing .009 reaction time in the final and didn’t need all of it, outpacing Smith’s slightly quicker 6.877 with a 6.878 for his seventh career win.
“I think during my slump I was thinking about winning the race before I even won a round,” said Arana Jr. “I am going to go one round at a time, one race at a time. The slump was motivation to get back on top.”
Arana Jr. noted that the rule change implemented by the NHRA in the beginning of the season standardizing valve train parameters across engine platforms have worked as designed.
“I’ve never seen the numbers so close,” he said. “Finally we have good parity in the class and good, competitive racing.”
Arana Jr. has led the championship points since the beginning of the season and his performance at the last two races pulled him away from his closest competitors. He has a 149-point lead over Smith and the two are the only riders to have locked into a place in the championship “Countdown”. S&S-powered Buells currently hold the top six spots and could account for eight of the 10 available spots in the Countdown.
The NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle competitors have a three-week break before “The Big Go” - the US Nationals at Indy, which is the last race before the NHRA Countdown playoffs begin.
S&S Cycle attended the 2013 V-Twin Dealer Expo in Cincinnati, Ohio on Feb. 2nd and 3rd. The dealer expo in Cincinnati is a time-honored tradition in the motorcycle industry going back to the 1970s. It’s a kind of a rite of spring that signals that the riding season is about to commence. The weather was anything but spring like, with snow, high winds, and freezing temperatures, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of the exhibitors or the dealers who come from all over the world to see the latest, up to datest products for Harley-Davidson® motorcycles and other American v-twins.
As a side note, Saturday, Feb. 2nd was groundhog day, and Punxsutawney Phil, the famous weather forecasting groundhog in Punxsutawney, PA did not see his shadow. So according to Groundhogologists who specialize in groundhog lore, we should have an early spring. That means an early riding season. We believe it because the prediction was backed up by our own Jimmy the groundhog in Sun Prairie, WI.
Among the new products released at the show, one that generated the biggest buzz was the new S&S® Lubricants product release. The S&S Lubricants line includes both full synthetic and petroleum based engine oil and transmission oil, as well as an extreme duty primary oil. Other popular products were the Viola V-Twin™ service parts offering, the new 883 to 1200 conversion kit for 1986-present 883 Sportster® models, the Power Tune Sport exhaust system for 2004 and later Sportster models, the 4” Race/Tour mufflers for 1995 and later baggers, S&S Premium Tappets for 1999-later big twins and 2002-later Sportster models, Throttle Hog big bore throttle bodies for 2008-up baggers and other models with electronic throttle control (AKA throttle-by-wire), and the improved B2 cylinder heads that now accept a two-bolt exhaust flange and can be adapted to stock exhaust headers. Another service that was well greeted with some excitement was the new S&S Service & Speed Center™ (SSC). The SSC is a service that S&S provides to S&S dealers which includes engine remanufacturing, performance upgrades to stock Harley-Davidson® engines, machine shop services, and custom engine building.
As usual, the S&S and Crane Cams® booths were very busy, talking with shop owners who were eager to learn about the latest S&S products for the coming season. In addition, S&S Cycle Sales Manager Shane Whitty presented two seminars on new S&S products and S&S Cycle Product Manager Jeremy Gilbert was a guest on a panel discussion called “From The Track To The Show Floor”, to talk about how racing can help generate sales in your business.
The V-Twin Expo is a dealer only show, which means that the general public can’t get in, but S&S attends all the International Motorcycle Shows (IMS) and most of the major rallies. So if you’re not an S&S dealer and you want to see all these new goodies for yourself, take a look at our events schedule on the S&S website and see when we’ll be at a show near you.
We’re also very proud to announce that our own George B. Smith, son of S&S company founder George J. Smith, was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award from V-Twin Magazine at an awards ceremony on Saturday evening after the Expo. George is responsible for many of S&S Cycle’s innovations and accomplishments since he took over as company president after the tragic death of his father in 1980. Those accomplishments are in both product development and racing. George has since retired as company president, but he remains chairman of the S&S Board of Directors. George could not be on hand to accept the award due to a prior commitment, so the award was accepted in his stead by current S&S company president Steve Iggens. Steve was accompanied on stage by the entire S&S show crew because George wanted to recognize that without the dedication and hard work of the S&S employees, he would not have been able to make it all happen. In his written acceptance, which was read by Steve Iggens, George recognized a number of S&S employees who had been with the company for over 25 years, some in excess of 40 years.
S&S attended the Iowa Grand Rally at the Iowa Speedway near Newton, Iowa July 24 – 28. This is the first year for this new rally and we didn’t know what to expect, but when we got there we were impressed by what a great facility the Iowa Raceway is. This modern racing, concert and event facility is a great venue to present everything from NASCAR races to motorcycle rallies to rock concerts. We were also impressed at how hot the weather was. During set-up on Tuesday July 24, and the first day of the show on Wednesday, the temperatures were well above 100° – that’s pretty hot! Wednesday night a line of thunderstorms came through with heavy rain and high winds. We were lucky because the S&S trailer came through the storm with no damage. Others were less fortunate.
The Wall Of Death, which was right next door, had its top awning blown off and badly damaged. In spite of the set-back the show had to go on. Take a look at the short video and the photos of Patch McGillicuttey defying death and gravity as he rides his motorcycle around the cylindrical track of the Wall of Death. He was riding with no hands, snatching dollar bills from the hands of spectators, and even making change if you didn’t have any small bills. The wall will be in Sturgis, and you should check it out if you get a chance.
As it is at every rally, our Morgan 3 Wheeler was a real hit. Some people have no idea what it is. Kind of like Marty McFly’s Delorean after he crashed into the barn in the movie Back To The Future. Some people had heard of it but have never seen one in person. Lot’s of people thought it must be something we fabbed up in the R&D department. Those guys are always surprised that it’s a production vehicle made by a company that’s been in business since 1910. A couple of with it individuals knew what it was and had some experience with the original Morgan 3. Everybody thought it was super cool, and wanted one.
Also on Thursday was the opening ceremony at the Rolling Thunder traveling wall and the S&S circle of honor. Event organizer Jay Allen lead the proceedings through the ceremony and the S&S Circle of Honor, a five bike simultaneous burn out in front of the wall. The mission of the Rolling Thunder organization is to honor and recognize the men and women who gave their lives in the service of our country.
The weather really didn’t cut us any breaks during the rally. Tuesday through Thursday were brutally hot. Friday was the only nice day. Saturday started out fairly nice, and attendance was looking pretty good. However, by mid afternoon, right after the closing ceremony for the traveling wall, the rain started and put a damper on the proceedings. A lot of folks called it quits and left and it’s a safe bet that a lot of the local people who would have attended, decided not to show up because of the weather.
In spite of the weather, we had a great time. We’re looking forward to the next Iowa Grand Rally. We think it has a lot of potential because of the great facility, a full complement of attractions like numerous rides to local destinations – lead by celebrity road captain and “Minister of Fun” Don Wood, activities, attractions, and big name entertainment. A great time in a great facility at a great price.
On Saturday June 2nd, S&S® / Flathead Power® made the scene at the second annual Knuckle Shuffle (don’t look this up on Urban Dictionary) in Yuba, Wisconsin. For 364 days of the year, Yuba is a quiet, rural village located about half way between Madison and La Crosse, WI, but Saturday was a little different. Several hundred motorcyclists gathered in Yuba for the Knuckle Shuffle, a fund raising event for the chopper class at Kennedy High School in Lakeville, MN. The weather cooperated with a nearly perfect day for an outdoor motorcycle event.
Many of the attendees showed up on vintage bikes in various conditions from original paint to fully restored. (Check out our photo gallery below) The vintage bikes alone would have been a good enough reason to show up at the Shuffle, but there were a whole lot of other good reasons too. The first and foremost reason to be there is the financial support the event provides for Kevin (the Teach) Baas’ Industrial Arts class at Kennedy High School. This is a high school class where they actually build choppers! S&S Sales Manager and Knuckle Shuffle event instigator Jeremy Gilbert says, “Initial figures show that this year’s event was a little larger than the first Shuffle, and by the time the smoke clears and the bills are paid, there should be about $4000 available to donate to Kevin’s class and possibly to some additional schools with similar programs.” Supporting the Chopper Class is the primary reason for the Knuckle Shuffle event, but there’s no reason why you can’t have a good time doing something good!
The atmosphere at the Shuffle is very laid back and easy going. As Jeremy puts it, “The Knuckle Shuffle isn’t like the bigger rallies where it sometimes seems like a war between T-shirt vendors, in the middle of a rock concert, with motorcycles in the background. We keep it pretty real, and it’s easy just to relax and enjoy yourself. It’s about the chopper class, it’s about the bikes, and it’s about simply having a good time with your friends.”
There were two rockin’ bands on hand to provide music for the event. Annie C. and the Roundervilles from Madison, WI started it off with classic rock and blues. They even convinced the S&S Marketing Manager, Bruce Tessmer, to get up and jam a few tunes with them. After a suitable recovery period, The Krank Daddies from Chicago, IL put on a great rock-a-billy show until late in the evening. Of course, a full range of shenanigans are inevitable when motorcycles congregate. A good time was had by all those present.
Just before the Krank Daddies got down to it, Jeremy gave away the raffle items from all the various sponsors, including a brand new Anders Nygren signature series 93" engine from Flathead Power®/S&S®. Dan Grosskopf of Minneapolis, MN took home the motor. Dan doesn’t currently own a motorcycle, but he thinks now he might have to build one. Other sponsors included Baker Drive Train, Crane Cams, Cycle Source Magazine, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Builtwell Inc, Baas Metal Craft, Frame Lock, Gear Driven Performance, Lowbrow Customs, Faribault Harley-Davidson®, Sucker Punch Sally’s of Wisconsin, The Symco Shakedown, The Knucklehead Company, Smiley’s Cycle Works, Full Throttle Bar, Sinclair Art, Bodie Design, and Lake Muskego Lake Trash.
The word is getting out about the Knuckle Shuffle. This year, there were several representatives of the motorcycle press hanging about and taking it all in. Hopefully a few articles will come out of the experience. Ken Kick from the Garage Kickers TV show was on hand to shoot an episode about the Shuffle. Ken ended up with some really cool interviews with industry notables and a lot of footage showing how it’s done in the big town. Yuba, WI – population 91.
Plans are already in the works for Knuckle Shuffle #3 in June of 2013. Good things come in threes!
Flathead Power/ S&S Cycle attended the AMCA National Swapment in Oley PA, hosted by the Perkiomen Chapter, April 27-29th 2012. AMCA events like the Perkiomen Swapmeet have long been a great place to network with fellow vintage enthusiasts as well as get the word out on new and existing S&S products under the Flathead Power Brand. Flathead Power founder Anders Nygren used the same venues to display and sell his wares, and this year, following the recent release of an American Iron magazine article, Flathead Power debuted the Anders Nygren Signature Series 93” Knuckle Engine, and what better place to honor the man that got Flathead Power going, than a National AMCA Meet?
Flathead Power road crew members, Eric Wangen & Kayle Pauling left for Oley PA on Tuesday, April 24th for the 2 day drive to East Central Pennsylvania. A day before we left, we saw on the news that most of PA was hit by a late snow storm, depositing as much as 13 inches in some areas, but a day later when we went thru, just a trace amount of snow in the higher elevations was the only evidence to be seen. Other than a near miss by a kamikaze turkey outside Boaz WI and an “over the cab” car hauler in western PA who suddenly felt he needed both lanes in a construction zone before he fully passed the our truck and trailer, the trip out was pretty uneventful. On Wednesday we made a stop to visit S&S/Flathead Power Dealer Paul Friebus at American Cycle Fab in Bloomsburg PA to see some of the skunkworks that goes into Bonneville racing a flathead motorcycle, sorry we didn’t take any pics there, but trust me, Paul is a record setter for a reason!
Thursday is considered a setup day at most all of the AMCA Swapmeets and is not open to the public, but there is still a lot of people for booth traffic as the other vendors take a chance to see what everyone has brought into the show in hopes they might find that hard sought after item they need or they think they can turn a bit of profit on. We’ve found that if you can get to the meet as it opens on Thursday, dropping the trailer and setting up is way easier if you can get in long before your neighbors arrive. With new display materials, we got setup in short order, and were busy most all day Thursday.
Now some may not know this, but S&S holds a strict policy that we won’t sell retail and compete with our dealers, so linking up with one of our dealers at these events allows us to bring along some select parts to sell thru the dealer in attendance, in this case we had WayBack Wheels from Portsmouth New Hampshire in the very next row. We brought some seconds and blem parts to sell along with some select firsts. Fully functional, seconds and blems can be pretty good deals if you don’t mind a bent or a small broken fin or other defect that inadvertently makes it thru the machining process but would not be a sellable item at MSRP. We get people looking for mock up parts, parts they want to try some modification on or with a little work, repair the fin or other blem feature and run the parts. We even had a guy that wanted to take a blem knuckle housing and make a beer tapper handle. The only way to get in on these rare second and blem parts deals is by attending one of these meets where the flaws can be seen handled and explained face to face by our road crew. (All blems and seconds are marked and are sold as is, and not under any kind of warranty)
Our UL/WLA Hybrid military display bike featured on our Facebook page was also a big hit for the people in attendance and the road crew who took it out for a spin around the grounds every couple of hours. We didn’t keep count, but I bet it was one of the most photographed bikes at the meet. Sporting our UL cylinders, heads, lifters and kicker cover, the bike was a great way to showcase parts and our commitment to the vintage market.
Friday was cold, overcast and extremely windy, at a few points in the day the guys were holding down the tents while talking to customers, almost like being in a day long bank hold up. The cold and wind did'nt deter too many from venturing out to find their parts, attendance and booth traffic remained pretty steady.
Saturday weather was fully cooperative, and the booth traffic was very steady right up to the close of the show as most vendors pack up and leave Saturday night. A side story about some of the pictures below, about mid afternoon Saturday, one of our neighbors was getting all packed up for his drive back, accidentally locked his key in his truck. With his spare set at the other end of the state, he was ready to break his back window to gain entry. Not wanting to see that happen, crew member Kayle Pauling stepped up and after about 20 minutes of work, was able to fish a coat hook in and bump the electric lock. Now that’s customer service!
Our next show is at the National Motorcycle Museum in Anamosa Iowa, and we may be adding another AMCA meet in Wauseon in July, we’ll keep you posted, or check us out on Facebook for more Flathead Power road tour events.
S&S® Cycle, Inc. of Viola, Wisconsin invites anyone with an interest in vintage bikes, technical education, or just having a good time to attend the second annual Knuckle Shuffle in Yuba, Wisconsin.
The Knuckle Shuffle is a vintage motorcycle event that will take place in the normally quiet farming village of Yuba, Wisconsin, located about half way between Madison and La Crosse. This S&S sponsored event is actually a fundraiser cleverly disguised as a party! Metal shop instructor Kevin Baas, aka “the Teach,” is the founder of the chopper building class at Kennedy High School in Lakeville, Minnesota and he – along with many supporters – is trying to keep the class available to his students after funding was cut to an all time low.
The Knuckle Shuffle was conceived and organized by S&S Sales Manager Jeremy Gilbert. Jeremy was a college friend of Kevin’s and when he heard the news that the chopper class budget was barely able to sustain the class, he came up with a plan to help keep it going. The first Knuckle Shuffle in 2011 provided $3300.00 for Kevin’s class at KHS. Doubling that amount is the goal for 2012. And the wheels are in motion to donate money to other high schools with similar programs. Corby Bodenburg, another classmate and Jeremy’s right hand man, has donated countless hours of graphic and web design to help out this event.
Corby Bodenburg and Jeremy Gilbert (bottom left) present Kevin Baas and his chopper class the check from last year's event.
The residents of Yuba and the surrounding area stepped up and pitched in to help make the first Knuckle Shuffle a success. S&S Cycle jumped at the chance to sponsor a local event for such a good cause. Says S&S Director of Sales and Marketing Gary Wenzel, “S&S Cycle has always supported technical education and the local community. First and foremost, education is what the Knuckle Shuffle is all about, and of course it’s right in our back yard. Yuba is only about 20 miles from Viola, and the tie in with our Flathead Power® line of vintage engine parts makes this a perfect fit.”
If this year’s Knuckle Shuffle is anything like the first one, you’ll see more original running knuckles, flatties, and Indians® in one place than you’ve ever seen before, or are likely to see again. Not to mention a lot of other rare and unique vintage machines. Rest assured that you don’t have to show up riding a knucklehead. The main thing is to come and have a good time… and of course support the Teach’s chopper class! Good times for a good cause!
Bruce from S&S interviews Kevin Bass from last year's Knuckle Shuffle
To make the party even more fun, an Anders Nygren signature KN-Series engine by Flathead Power (FHP) will be given away in a drawing to be held Saturday evening June 2nd. This is a special limited edition of the FHP KN93 engine, which boasts a 93 cubic inch displacement and the signature of Anders Nygren, the founder of the original Flathead Power Company in Sweden, CNC engraved on the cam cover.
It all starts on Friday, June 1st, when folks start showing up and getting ready for the main event. On Saturday, June 2nd, four rides from four different locations in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin will converge in Yuba for live music, food, good times, and an engine giveaway drawing. Sunday, those still standing can take a tour of the S&S manufacturing facility in nearby Viola, Wisconsin.
Shenanigans from the First Annual Knuckle Shuffle
For more information about the Knuckle Shuffle, visit the event website at www.theknuckleshuffle.com.
Spring is Just Around The Corner!
S&S Cycle just wrapped up three days at the V-Twin Expo in Cincinnati, Ohio. This is a yearly rite of spring for the v-twin motorcycle industry. It's a dealer show, which means that admittance is restricted to registered motorcycle dealers and repair shops. That's why we're giving the rest of the world a peak at what goes on at one of these events.
The whole idea is that manufacturers show off their new products to the dealers so the dealers will be ready to present these products to their customers back home. S&S featured the new Super Stock™ Stealth air cleaner and its associated line of custom air cleaner covers. The new black exhaust products, with Jet-Hot® life time coating were another major introduction on display. The Stealth air cleaner was a big hit with the dealers. Although the idea of running your stock air cleaner cover on a performance air cleaner was appealing, they especially liked the new Muscle air cleaner cover that uses mini muscle-car style hood pins to hold the cover on the air cleaner. The coolness of the idea is undeniable and when you see it up close and personal, the Muscle cover has a great appeal. Most dealers agreed that the Muscle cover looks best on leaner, meaner bikes like Sportster® or Dyna® models and similar custom bikes. The bagger crowd seemed to gravitate to the teardrop shaped Airstream covers. All of the new covers are available in either a show chrome finish or Black Jack wrinkle black.
A lot of dealers were impressed with the new black S&S exhaust. We had a 2012 FLHX equipped with black Power Tune duals and black SPO® mufflers on display. To top it off, the hog also had a Stealth air cleaner with a black Airstream cover. It looked really bad, by which we mean it looked really good, if you know what we mean. Our slash back and 3 ½” Touring mufflers are also offered in Jet-Hot® black. Already have chrome Power Tune Duals? Switch the look with our black heat shield kit!
S&S conducted several seminars. S&S rep Scott Hakins did an informational presentation for the sales reps from Tucker Rocky Distributing called the Knowledge of Power, and S&S customer service and tech guy Jeremy Gilbert did two sessions of a presentation called "How To Win Sales and Influence Horsepower" for the dealer attendees. Both seminars provided good information about S&S products and suggested ways to let the end users know the benefits of using U.S.A. made S&S performance components.
Also in the S&S booth at the V-Twin Expo were representatives from the Power Sports Institute (PSI) in Cleveland, Ohio. PSI handles all of S&S Cycle's dealer training classes. Dealer training is another way that S&S strives to ensure customer satisfaction.
Of course S&S wasn't the only company strutting their stuff at the V-Twin Expo. This show is like a Who's Who of the v-twin motorcycle industry. Check out the photos of new products, custom bikes, vintage bikes, and industry notables.
At the same time S&S was showing the new products to the dealers in Cincinnati, we had a display at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show (IMS) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The IMS show is a consumer event and all are welcome. We don't actually sell products at the show – we're just trying to get the word out so people know that they have a lot of choices when they are thinking of making performance upgrades. Of course we hope they will choose S&S.
November 13-15, 2011 - Red Rock Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada
S&S® was proud to be a co-sponsor of this year’s event as the Who’s who of the motorcycle world gathered in Las Vegas Nevada for the AMA’s 2011 Hall of Fame Induction event. Over 800 people were in attendance at the banquet ceremony hosted by actor/motorcyclist, Perry King. Newly named, S&S President, Steve Iggens and his wife represented S&S Cycle at the star-studded affair.
Industry leaders gathered to pay tribute to this year’s inductees which included Fred Fox, founder of Parts Unlimited, Phil Schilling, managing editor of Cycle magazine, Stu Peters,
Photos by Camilla Sjodin, courtesy of the AMA.
S&S President: Steve Iggens
Continental Motosports Club racing promotor, Norbert Schickel, early designer and innovator/founder of Schickel Motor Co. and Doug Polen, World Superbike roadracer.
Special awards were also given to existing Hall of Fame members, racers Kenny Roberts and Roger DeCoster.
This year’s induction ceremony was held in conjunction with the Dave Mungenast Memorial Concours d’Elegance. Over 100 beautiful classic and historic motorcycles were on display. Best of Show award went to Bob Mitchell’s 1947 Indian Chief.
Other winners included:
Loren Carpenter’s 1958 Harley Sportster Al Lutino’s 1971 Kawasaki F-5
Dan Selman’s 1961 Triumph TRS AC Don Harrell’s 1966 BSA Hornet
Don Johnson’s 1967 BSA Spitfire Peter Palko’s 1972 H-D XR-750
Brad Boyle’s MV Augusta 500 Paul Wheeler’s “Easy Rider” replica
Rick Huemmerich’s 1960 BMW R69S Eric & Lee Hale’s 1978 Yamaha OW-36
Gary Brigg’s 1966 Honda CA-77 Dream Don Johnson’s 1953 AJS 185
S&S company founder George J. Smith was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.
Established in 1958, S&S Cycle has been the industry leader in high performance accessories and engines for American and metric V-twin motorcycles. From engines, big bore kits, camshafts, valve train components and more, S&S has delivered the finest in American made high performance products to a worldwide market for over 50 years.
Count on S&S to bring “Proven Performance” to your motorcycle.
Bruce and Justin from S&S visited the Power Sports Institute
, a division of the Ohio Technical College, in Cleveland Ohio to observe an S&S Dealer Training Class
. This session was the Sidewinder training class, which deals with the mechanical aspects of servicing S&S engines. The focus of the class was the S&S V-Series and T-Series engines for 1984 – 2006 Harley-Davidson big twins, and numerous S&S Hot Set Up Kit® configurations for 1984 – 2011 big twins. This class is only available to S&S dealers
The purpose of these classes is to get technicians who work in S&S dealerships up to speed on the special care and feeding of S&S engines and S&S modified Harley-Davidson® engines such as those that contain an S&S Hot Set Up Kit. Each participant in the class is required to tear down, measure and reassemble an S&S V-Series engine
and either an S&S T-Series engine
or a Hot Set Up Kit modified Harley-Davidson Twin Cam 88® or 96 engine. In the process they learned not only the techniques, but the how's and why's of the S&S components and the engines that contain them.
The students in the class ranged from seasoned technicians to near entry-level technicians. Regardless of the level of experience, all participants of the class learned a lot. In the case of the less experienced students, it was an eye opening introduction not only to basic engine building and maintenance techniques, but an insight into the difference between stock and performance motorcycle engines
. For the old pro's, it was a chance to hone their skills and find ways to do their jobs better. Nobody walked away from the class without a head full of newly acquired ideas and solid v-twin performance
knowledge, regardless of how much they knew before the class.
The fact is that S&S engines and S&S modified stock engines are different from stock Harley® engines. That's why they're faster. With that fact in mind, it should be pretty reasonable to conclude that they need a little different approach when you have one in the shop. Making more power isn't just about increased displacement, although that's a pretty good way to go. It also has to do with cylinder head flow, ignition timing, cam specifications, carb tuning
, and a lot of other considerations that generally are not even a concern to the mechanic who works to the maintain stock function of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Modifying an engine for more performance takes more knowledge and the ability to think outside the box. Related: Students from PSI's Dealer Training Build Bike for AMD Championship
"We don't just want these guys to be parts-changers!" Says PSI campus director Bernie Thompson. "They need to be able to think about what they're doing and make the right calls when confronted with the special problems of high performance work." V-Twin Education Manager Ron Radeke adds "To receive the S&S Sidewinder
certificate, students have to do the work and pass the tests. Without these strict requirements, the certificate wouldn't mean much. This way you know that any technician who holds a Sidewinder certificate from PSI is the real deal. They've earned it!"
Bernie adds "To go along with that, we have a separate v-twin course here at PSI where we not only teach our students how to service Harley-Davidson® and other v-twins, but we give the students the opportunity to build a custom bike from scratch. This year we used an S&S engine and our bike took 8th
place at the AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building event in Sturgis." Click here to see the bike!
A cool chance meeting occurred when we discovered that the technicians from Gateway Big Dog, who sent us the picture and dyno chart featured in an earlier S&S Performance Times Blog
were taking the class when we were there. Other participants included two brothers from a new shop in Australia called Karbo Kustoms, and two guys from Lowbrow Customs, one of the sponsors of the recent Knuckle Shuffle
in nearby Yuba, WI. See our Road Tour Blog entry here
Dealer training is something that is pretty unique in the high performance industry, and S&S is committed to making sure that our dealers can back up the great reputation that S&S products have with performance enthusiasts all over the world.
If you are interested in attending S&S Dealer training, visit our site for more information
and this year's class schedule
. If you would like to become an S&S Dealer, or learn why partnering with S&S is great for your business, visit our Become an S&S Dealer
page on our site.
Viola, WI. September 15, 2011. The AACA Illinois Brass & Gas Touring Group made a stop at the S&S facility in Viola, WI. The day started out cool with the first frost of the season, but warmed up nicely as the sun came up. That's a good thing because these are all open cars! That's why the old timers always wore those big car coats and goggles. Some of the cars were actually steam powered, so they had to fill up with water here at S&S.
The club is for owners of cars built before 1915. The reason they call it Brass and Gas is that up until 1915 the cars used a lot of brass in the radiators and other structural parts, but after WWI started, brass was in short supply, most of it going to the war effort for making ammunition. Later cars used painted or nickel plated steel. All the cars on the tour were fully restored and fully functional. It requires an incredible amount of dedication to restore and maintain these vehicles. Replacement parts are pretty much nonexistent and the amount of TLC and financial resources required are considerable. However it all pays off on a beautiful fall day, with an event like this.
The club holds a number of these tours during the year. They bring the cars in covered trailers to a specified location; in this case Richland Center, WI. Several day trips are planned by the club during the tour. The members don't really know where the will end up until they receive their trip book with detailed directions as to where to go and where to turn. At an average speed of 30 mph, the trip is a pleasant cruise. In most cases it's not about the destination, it's more about the trip. In the case of the S&S visit, the destination proved to be really cool too.
The group toured the S&S museum and manufacturing plant, and many picked up S&S t-shirts as souvenirs. Not only do the owners of these antique autos love cars, many of them have motorcycles and other toys too.
When S&S Engineering Manager, Jeff Bailey brought out our brand new Morgan three-wheeler test car they all fell in love with it on the spot. Even though this Morgan isn't an antique, it's modeled after the old time Morgans which were first produced in 1910.
The Morgan Motor Company of Malvern Link in Worcestershire, UK started out producing the three-wheelers in 1910 but discontinued them in 1954. However, Morgan is reintroducing the three-wheeler this year, and the modern version is powered by the S&S X-Wedge® engine. That's why S&S happens to have one of these yet to be released vehicles. It's here for testing and a fun part of that testing includes showing it to people to see what they think. "I think I need one!" is what most people say after they see one. After they have a ride in one that changes to "I know I need one!" Jeff gave rides to several of the antique car owners and they reciprocated by giving rides to several S&S employees. Good times!