One of the things that have always set S&S Cycle apart from other companies in the v-twin high performance aftermarket is the fact that we made parts that nobody else did and we would make S&S parts the way our customers wanted them. Many of the guys buying S&S parts were either racers or very tech savvy Harley® riders. So if they wanted something special S&S would try to make it for them. We still try to do that as much as we can, but it's not as easy as it used to be.
S&S still makes a lot of special parts for racers. Racers will always be trying to find that competitive edge, and we make a lot of special "skunk works" type components to help them try out new ideas and hopefully whip up on the competition. However, even though the average street rider today is not the person who usually turns the wrench on his engine, they generally stay well informed about what's available by researching the internet. Racers want special parts and certain street riders want to pick and choose a specific combination of parts, so S&S has developed an ordering procedure to satisfy both types of customers called CTO – “Configure To Order”.
CTO is a feature of our business software that allows S&S to offer specially machined parts for racers as well as allowing our dealers to put together high performance kits that contain just what their customers want. CTO allows us to offer options for certain types of parts or kits. S&S only offers the options that work with that specific kit, and we only offer what we can deliver.
Let's say you want one of our stock bore stroker kits. To build a stroker engine, at a minimum, you will need a flywheel assembly and pistons. The CTO process allows you to choose the style of flywheel assembly you need and to specify the required piston oversize. In some cases you may even be able to choose the compression ratio. If flywheels and pistons are all you want, you can stop there. However, to get the most out of your stroker engine you will need some additional performance components. Here is where CTO can really help you get the right stuff by offering parts that S&S recommends for your specific application. You can choose a cam (or a set of cams), pushrods, an S&S carburetor, a set of cylinder heads, rocker arms, rocker boxes, and a lot more, depending on the kit. CTO allows you to get the parts you need, but you don't have to take anything you don't want. Maybe you already have one of these parts, and don’t want to buy another one. As you look at various products on the S&S website, you will see some that list items called “Basic Kit Contents.” These are components that always come with that specific kit. After that there will be a number of optional choices and/or parts that can be chosen when the kit is ordered. These products are either Special Order or Made To Order through CTO. So when you talk to your S&S Dealer about your project, think about the extra parts you are going to need to complete it. Chances are they will be offered as CTO options with the basic kit.
CTO makes it easy to get everything you need, and to be sure that everything you get will work together. We know from experience that a combination of incompatible parts can cause a high performance engine to be a dog. We also know that if customers follow our recommendations, they will have great results and ultimately feel that they got their money’s worth. Customer satisfaction is really S&S’s most important job.