Thursday, 3 April 2014

MAG merges with Tucker Rocky/Biker's Choice

Vance & Hines, Performance Machine, Kuryakyn owner (MAG) merges with US distribution giant Tucker Rocky

The owner of Fort Worth, Texas based distributor Tucker Rocky (Lacy Diversified Industries/LDI of Indianapolis) has announced that it has acquired a majority ownership position in the Irvine, California headquartered Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG).

The deal to acquire a majority ownership position in MAG is being described as a "merger" between MAG and the Tucker Rocky operation.

MAG is best known as the owner of Vance & Hines, Performance Machine, Kuryakyn, Progressive Suspension, J&P Cycles, Mustang Seats, UK based off-road specialist Renthall and a number of other high profile specialist motorcycle industry parts and accessory brands and manufacturers.

Tucker Rocky is one of the largest motorcycle parts, accessory and apparel distributors in the United States, often cited as being second only is sales revenue and volume terms to the LeMans Group (Parts Unlimited/Europe).

Although their 'third-party' product portfolio is substantial and involves them in all the primary powersports industry sectors in the United States, here in Europe Tucker Rocky is probably best known for own-brand product lines such as the MSR (Malcolm Smith Racing) off-road apparel and parts programmes, Answer Racing off-road gear, apparel and accessories, and their ProTaper hard parts and accessories range, which includes the top-selling ProTaper handlebars programme.

According to the text of a March 27 statement released by all three parties, LDI "will become the majority shareholder of the combined company", with Leonard Green & Partners, (L.P. - the current majority shareholder of MAG) and other existing MAG shareholders (which includes the former owners of many of the group's subsidiary brands) retaining "a significant minority interest in the combined company".

LDI states that it "has been a major participant in the powersports industry for 25 years through its ownership of Tucker Rocky/Biker’s Choice" and the company says that "when the deal is finalised J.A. Lacy, President and CEO of LDI, will become Chief Executive Officer of the combined company" and that the new entity "will operate under the Motorsport Aftermarket Group name".

Brian Etter will continue in his role as President of MAG’s "branded product, media and online retail operations", with Dan Courtney continuing as President of Tucker Rocky.

MAG Chairman, shareholder and original founding partner Arnie Ackerman is quoted as saying that “the strategic merit for this combination stems from the highly complementary product and service offerings of each of these businesses”.

For the new parent company, J.A. Lacy is quoted as saying that “long-term success for the company will be built by bringing enhanced selection, service and solutions to powersports dealers in order to drive retail sales growth”.

Lacy Diversified is an American institution, specifically an Indianapolis institution, owing its origins to a business founded there in 1912 by Howard Lacy. The Lacy Diversified name was adopted in 1972 to reflect the evolution of the group and now, 102 years since it was founded, it is still owned and operated by the Lacy family, with Andre Lacy as Chairman and his son, J.A. Lacy, representing the fourth generation of the family, as CEO and President.

Lacy say theirs is a "build and hold" business ownership strategy, and point to their 25 year ownership of Tucker Rocky/Biker's Choice as testimony to their long-term investment approach.

Tucker Rocky owes its origins to Texan Ed Tucker's 1967 wholesale motorcycle oil business and the subsequent expansion and diversification following Bob Nickell's purchase of the business in 1972.

The business became Tucker Rocky (TR) in 1986 following the purchase of Rocky Cycle, and was acquired by Lacy Diversified Industries in 1989. Tucker Rocky is a strictly wholesale operation that claims it sells over 100,000 products to all sectors of the motorcycle and wider powersports market, through seven domestic US distribution centres.

MAG was founded in 2000 by Arnie Ackerman and his partners and the San Francisco based equity investor Duff Ackerman and Goodrich (DAG), with the specific intention of acquiring, financing and developing leading motorcycle aftermarket parts and accessory brands and manufacturers.

As the man who had largely guided the acquisition strategy and driven development of the Group, Arnie Ackerman retained a shareholding in MAG in 2006 when DAGs interest was acquired by Leonard Green & Partners - the Los Angeles based equity investor with current involvements in well known American consumer brands such as Petco, The Sports Authority, J Crew, Lucky Brand Jeans, the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas, and the London based fashion retailer Top Shop.

Although details are confidential, it would appear that the structure of the deal will mean that Ackerman, and several of the former principals of the businesses that MAG has acquired, will now, effectively, also have a stake in Tucker Rocky/Biker's Choice. The deal is subject to regulatory scrutiny but is expected to close in the second quarter of 2014.
J A Lacy is the fourth generation of his family to head up Indianapolis based Lacy Diversified Industries (LDI) and will become CEO of the combined company, which will operate under the Motorsport Aftermarket Group name (MAG)

Following the retirement of Steve Johnson at the end of 2012 Dan Courtney became President of Tucker Rocky and will continue in that role following the merger

Brain Etter continues in his role as President of Motorsport Aftermarket Group (MAG) the parent company of well known parts and accessories brands such as Vance & Hines, Kuryakyn, Performance Machine, Progressive Suspension, J&P Cycles, Mustang Seats and UK based offroad specialist Renthall

Japanese motorcycle growth

Europe’s Japanese ‘big-four’ dealers receiving increased inventory as growth kicks in?

Following nine consecutive years of annual decline in the number of Powered Two-Wheelers (PTWs) exported to Europe by the ‘big-four’ Japanese motorcycle manufacturers, data for the first two months of this year suggests that their dealers may finally be about to see a turn in their fortunes. 

Whilst two months of data aren’t enough to establish robust trend conclusions, and while the extent of decline will under any circumstances require many years of growth in order for sales to approach historic levels, when taken in conjunction with the national sales data that has been emerging so far this year, industry analysts are pointing to these latest figures as suggesting that the bottom of the European motorcycle industry’s very broad ‘U-curve’ may finally have been transitioned.

Total PTW exports to Europe from Japan stood at 17,261 units (+27.21 percent) in January and 18,468 (+12.3) in February, or a year to date total of 35,729 units, which is 19.04 percent up on the first two months of 2013.

This follows a month on month reduction in the rate of decline since February 2013 and the return to export growth in the final quarter of 2013 – total Japanese manufacturer PTW exports to Europe were down by -9.52 percent (147,965 units) for last year.

To put these figures into context, Japanese exports to Europe had declined by -6.1 percent in 2012 and -23.58 percent in 2011, having peaked in recent-cycle terms at 481,427 units in 2004. Prior to that, the market has seen several spikes in cycles over the years – reaching 690,629 in 1998 with an all-time high of 921,593 in 1981.

In 250cc+ motorcycle terms, the picture is similar (the huge majority of Japanese unit exports to Europe are motorcycles), with the January and February year-to-date data closing out at 17,751 units for those two months, which is up +14.05 percent over the first two months of 2013.

Total Japanese manufacturer 250cc+ motorcycle exports to Europe were 130,455 for 2013 (-11.48 percent) and 147,377 (-5.63 percent) in 2012, following a -22.66 decline in 2011 (156,166 units).

OptiMate 5 Voltmatic

OptiMate 5 Voltmatic

TECMATE is claiming that its new OptiMate 5 Voltmatic is the first ever charger capable of automatically recovering 6V lead-acid batteries from deep discharge. The charger will also charge and maintain medium to large 12V batteries [from 8Ah to 120Ah].

The OptiMate 5 VoltMatic retains the fully automatic, and easy-to-use characteristics of other OptiMates, while being capable of recovering batteries retaining as little as one-volt.The OptiMate 5 identifies whether a battery is 6V or 12V and then runs a series of tests to see whether it requires desulphation or bulk charge. It then delivers charge in controlled pulses that equalise the voltage in each of the battery cells and checks that charge is being retained, before indicating that the battery has reached full charge.
OptiMate runs a 30-minute charge/30-minute rest cycle, during every hour of long-term maintenance charge, so it can be left connected to the battery while the vehicle is parked without any risk of overcharging or overheating.
Compatible with STD lead-acid batteries (with removable filler caps), sealed AGM ‘maintenance free’, GEL and spiral cell types, the OptiMate 5 is supplied with both a permanent ringlet connection lead that has a weatherproof cap and battery crocodile clips for bench charging.

Tel: +32 (0)16 805440

Lotus Prototype

Prototype Lotus motorcycle hits the road

KODEWA Performance Motorcycles (PMC), the company licensed by Lotus to produce the Lotus motorcycle – the C-01 – has announced that the first prototype of the design is now road registered and ready for testing.

Having been in development for two years, the C-01 is the first motorcycle in the world to bear the Lotus name. The new machine, featuring bodywork designed by Daniel Simon, who was responsible for the ‘Lightcycles’ in the 2010 Disney film ‘Tron: Legacy’ and the ‘Bubbleship’ used by Tom Cruise in the film ‘Oblivion’, runs a 1,200cc, 75-degree V-twin, and is built with carbon fibre, titanium and aerospace quality steel.
The original idea to create the C-01 came from Kodewa’s Dr Colin Kolles, who said: “We set out to create a bike that isn’t just great to ride, but also represents a piece of art in motion. Over the years I have seen my fair share of style over substance, but what this bike brings to the market is a unique combination of both state of the art technology with a truly jaw-dropping aesthetic”.

Designer Daniel Simon said: “The design process of the C-01 was a labour of love, and there were many challenges, like ensuring that the bike not only touches your visual senses with its timeless blend of classic appeal and modern execution, but that it is safe and ergonomically sound was critical to me. We have worked hard to create a motorcycle with very distinctive features such as a clean main body, an extremely low side profile, a bold stance, a unique air intake, logical parts line solutions and clean graphics”.
The C-01 will be available in a range of liveries, some of which pay homage to Lotus’ sporting pedigree. A customisation service is also available, limited only by the imagination of the buyer. Production of the C-01 will be limited to just 100 units.

K-Tech Suspension upgrades

K-Tech Suspension upgrades for 899 Panigale

K-TECH Suspension has a line of performance front fork products and rear shock absorbers for the 2014 Ducati 899 Panigale. There are two options available for the standard Showa BPF forks; the 25SSK open cartridge damping system which has 25mm control pistons and a 14mm piston rod, and a 20DDS pressurised closed cartridge system which has 20mm diameter displacing pistons with 31mm control pistons. Both products are made from aircraft grade aluminium which is hard anodised for durability and wear protection.

25SSK open cartridge

20DDS pressurised closed cartridge system

The 35DDS rear shock is a direct replacement for the standard Sachs unit. It is a five-way adjustable shock with compression and rebound damping adjustment, length adjustment, spring preload adjustment and a unique ‘By Pass Valve’ adjuster that controls low speed damping on both the compression and rebound circuits.

35DDS rear shock


Moira, Derbyshire, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1283 559000

500,000th BMW Boxer built

500,000th BMW Boxer built

A liquid-cooled R 1200 GS is the 500,000th Boxer-powered GS model to be built on the production line at the BMW Motorrad factory. The first BMW motorcycle was constructed at the Berlin-Spandau plant in 1969 and the first ever GS entered production in the autumn of 1980.

What started as the R 80 G/S, a 798cc, 50bhp dual-purpose model has evolved into a 1,170cc adventure motorcycle, making 125bhp and offering riders state-of-the art technology and performance enhancing aids, including on- and off-road ABS, traction control and semi-active suspension.
The liquid-cooled R 1200 GS was the best-selling motorcycle outright in Europe in 2013. With over 25,000 registered worldwide, the first-ever liquid-cooled Boxer GS became BMW Motorrad’s fastest-selling new model in the company’s entire 90-year history.
Stephan Schaller, President of BMW Motorrad, said: “By combining street, off-road and everyday qualities, BMW Motorrad created the new travel enduro species with the R 80 G/S. The flat-twin GS became the synonym for this segment. The outstanding talents of the Boxer-powered GS models – ride dynamics, off-road qualities, comfort and endurance – have been continuously nurtured, developed and transferred very successfully to other BMW Motorrad model series”.

Marc Sielemann, Head of the BMW Motorrad Berlin Plant, said: “As a plant it is a privilege for us to continue building on the successful history of the legendary flat-twin GS. With the precision-cooled drive unit, a new evolutionary stage was reached last year. Manufacturing half a million units underlines the fact that the Boxer GS represents a cornerstone of our motorcycle production more than ever before”.

VStream windshields

VStream windshields for R1200GS

ZTECHNIK is now offering its VStream windshield in two heights for the water cooled BMW R1200GS.

The Touring size VStream windscreen, which gets its name from its unique shape and dimensional contours, is wider and taller than stock. The patented ‘V’ profile is said to help keep wind off the rider’s upper body and helmet. The sport size is reshaped in contour but similar in height to the OEM and available in dark tint or clear.
Both styles are made from FMR hard-coated polycarbonate. Optically the VStream windscreen is clear with virtually no distortion, and Ztechnik claims its screens are 30 times more scratch resistant and have 20 times greater crack and impact resistance than other aftermarket windscreens on the market made from commonly used acrylic.

Maywood, Illinois, USA
Tel: +1 708 343 0400

Barracuda indicators and mirrors

Barracuda indicators and mirrors

BARRACUDA’S latest parts release range includes the Idea turn signals. The E-marked indicators have an ABS body and use LEDs for illumination.

Marketed under Barracuda’s You Design concept users of the Idea indicators can customize them with inserts in both ABS and aluminium in a range of colours: black, carbon, red, white, silver and gold. The Idea turn signals are sold in pairs, and include an electronic adapter (resistor).


Heading up the wide range of mirror options offered by Barracuda are the D-Version, with European approval. Constructed from a combination of ABS and steel, they are part of the You Design range, and as such have a choice of ABS interchangeable inserts available in six colours: gold, silver, red, white, green and black. The back of the universal mount mirror also houses an approved turn signal.
Also available as part of the You Design system, with coloured inserts, are the R-Version mirrors. These are offered in Race style, or Naked with a universal fitting.
Sintesy, Z-Version and E-Version are three new E-marked mirrors, made from billet aluminium with universal brackets for Naked motorbikes, available in two anodised colours of black and silver.




Florence, ITALY
Tel. +39 055 412 746