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Sunday Edition


And We've Got it All!

By Bandit, Rogue, Wayfarer, Sam Burns, Bob T., Gearhead, Joe Smith, Stealth, the Redhead, Laura and the rest of the gang

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It’s a strange day in Paradise. I voted yesterday.
You’ll see some strange shit about voting in the news. I also spoke to a VA nurse. She wanted me to haul ass back to the hospital. Every time you speak to someone in the medical profession you get a different story. I’m adapting to be the primary care specialist. Call me Dr. Ming Ball.

In each case it’s up to me to inform the nurse or the Doctor of the findings, conclusions, recommendation and how the hell I’m feeling. Actually, we are the best doctors during our diagnosis. You are Dr. Self and you can read your reactions, symptons and status better than any specialist. Use the Doctors and nurses as your research team. Keep asking questions until you receive the correct answers. Enough of that bullshit.

 My grandson Frank Ball Jr. rode over yesterday. He came blasting into the Bikernet Headquarters on the other Spitfire FXR I built pro-street style. Whenever Frankie shows up, we always end up working on his bike.

In this case his rear fender rubbed on his new Avon Tyre. We started to monkey with it and ultimately installed another set of longer rear Progressive shocks. That sorta did the trick and his belt won’t touch the oil bag anymore.


He’s a very talented nut. His art is expanding and becoming more detailed every week. I’m trying to get him to paint on canvas.

You’ll see in the news a pitch from the MRF to sign up new members. I’ve always supported the MRF because they have worked tirelessly for decades to maintain our freedoms. There’s been competition with the AMA, NCOM and the MIC. I always felt the MRF was the most pure freedom fighting group. They are supported by and support the state rights groups. They aren’t connected to law firms or overseas manufacturers. They are simply freedom fighter devoted to street motorcyclists rights.


Everyone should join the MRF, even members of the AMA and members of the MIC. The industry would be better off. For a longtime we tried to work with the industry guys and shops, but Industry guys thought they were covered by the MIC. That’s not the case. Anyway, it’s good to be a member, if only to stay abreast of the challenges our industry faces. I could go on a major rant about what the MRF membership has done to keep you free, less harassed, and able to work on and build bikes, but it would take me a week. Just join and tell ‘em Bandit sent you.

The Bikernet Weekly News is sponsored in part by companies who also dig Freedom including: Cycle Source Magazine, the MRF, Las Vegas Bikefest, Iron Trader News, ChopperTown, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. Most recently Quick Throttle Magazine came on board.

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Click for all the info...


Well, I just returned this morning from a work project in Martinez, California and wanted to share my observations from a difficult environment there. Sad state of affairs there as a major refiner decided to shut down the facility and lay off hundreds of workers across the U.S. This site specifically had workers walking around with the knowledge that October 30th is their final day, the layoffs to number in the hundreds.

My company was commissioned to help with the shutdown of processing units and cleaning them for eventual demo. I was not looking forward to this job as I was sure this "lefty" state would be a full on two-week battle with negative outlooks and dreary workers...I was wrong.

For the most part the operations team was very laid back and cool, each operator knowledgeable about their equipment and offering to help when needed. Unlike most of the jobs I attend, the timeline was much more relaxed, as we weren't battling the ever-imposing "Start-Up" date that's the usual moving target at most turnarounds.

Each guy had their own story and I did my best to listen whenever one wanted to talk as we were there to clean their units for a basic mothball shutdown. Even as these guys faced their last days working for this giant corporation, they were overall very optimistic and seemed to have good spirits. I'd ask them what their plans were now and most have no clue. "I guess I can work at Wal Mart as a freaking greeter," seemed to be a consistent plan. The range of backgrounds and stories was incredible, some less than 2 years from retirement, some as young as having 2 years experience. It was surreal.

California people are funny to me, some seem in such a hurry, but for what? They look at you strange when you greet them with any salutation like "good morning", or "how are you?”

New Yorkers hardly look at you, if they make eye contact at all, as if you've offended them, but Cali folks just seem surprised you are even taking to them. The media constantly throws all the negative shots about violence and unrest, but I didn't see any of that either. I even flew my wife out for a few days, and we visited San Francisco and Oakland. Arlen’s shop showroom was closed to the public and looked to be in a transition stage...sad.

The Pier 39 crowd was a little light from my memory of past visits, maybe due to the fact you have to wear a mask everywhere. Even running through the park I noticed people exercising wearing a're outside for Christ Sakes, what in the hell is the mask for outside on a run?!!!

There were a lot less bikes than I would've imagined. It seems I see more bikers in Texas than Cali, which seemed odd with the weather. Maybe it was due to the fires and the irritation to their sensitive throats, I'm not sure.

Overall the trip was an encouragement into the resolve of the American people and even in the most pessimistic times, they seemed to be in good spirits and ready for the next adventure.

One thing was unanimous, they all seemed to envy the fact I live in Texas! I told them we are full, but Louisiana and Oklahoma have plenty of room for them, LOL! I'm back home in Houston today and can't wait to take "The Rainmaker" for a ride, as I'm sure we could use it. Talk to you soon.

--Johnny Humble
Factory Research Specialists™

Photos at Born Free from Sam Burns

SADDLEMEN SEAT OF THE WEEK--1997-2007 FLHR, FLHX Heated Roadsofa™ CF Seat

The Roadsofa™ is crafted specifically for riders that love lay down 500+ miles of the open road in a day. It is the ultimate long-distance touring seat for Harley-Davidson touring models. Standard features include rider and passenger Gelcore™ Technology, a split-cushion lumbar area designed to sit you into the Gelcore™ instead of hammocking your body onto the cover like most OEM and aftermarket seats on the market.

Upgrade options include driver’s backrest, extended reach profiles for the taller rider that needs that extra room, rider and passenger heated options, trunk pad covers, and more.

Our Gelcore™ Technology (explained) is a guarded company secret that no other manufacturer can duplicate. Don't be fooled by other companies foam only, air and gel stories. Our Gelcore™ is formulated and manufactured in house and is engineered to dampen, divert, and deflect energy through a mechanical process resulting in a smooth, therapeutic ride.

• Designed and made in the U.S.A.

• SaddleGel™ in front and rear reduces tailbone pressure and increases circulation and comfort for both driver and passenger.

• Our tall lumbar support and wide driver saddle-support the back and legs for superior comfort, while the streamlined nose improves the rider's reach to the ground.

• The refined split-cushion design separates the seating surface from the lumbar support, reducing tailbone and back pressure from maximum long-range comfort.

• Every cover is constructed with contrasting carbon-fiber weave and Original Saddlehyde™ for that show-stopping look.

• Hi/low seat heaters provide warmth, comfort, and the convenience that today's riders demand. (Available on some models)

• Matching passenger backrest / Tour-Pak pad cover completes the custom look. (Sold Separately)(for models that require)

• Models are available with a built-in backrest that eliminate additional brackets that mount to the fender. (Does not accommodate Saddlemen or H-D fender-mounted Backrest)

Brand Fitment: Harley-Davidson
Year Fitment: 1997-2007

--Saddlemen Team


2020 BIKETOBERFEST REPORT--If you want to know what is going on in Daytona and Biketoberfest suggest checking out Cochise Chops Magazine.

I rode up to Daytona yesterday to see Todd from Klock Werks.

People setting up here and there, Main Street quiet, should pick up some next couple of days.

I am going to Tropical Tattoo on Thursday and not sure what else yet.

There will be a lot going on at places like Destination Daytona and the Bars and Campgrounds outside of Daytona.


Massachusetts Motorcycle Association--Annual Meeting
Election Results

Announced via email to active members in good standing of your Massachusetts Motorcycle Association, an annual meeting was held on October 7, 2020 at 7PM using an online virtual meeting platform. In addition to the Board of Directors, several long-time and new members also participated in a review of the current State of the MMA's business and the election of officers.

Reelected as Secretary was Diane Alba who has served in this capacity for 2 terms. Diane has provided an efficiency in the operation of the corporate operation of the association which has proven invaluable during a period of restructuring and growth.

Also reelected as Motorcycle Riders Foundation State Representative was Doc D'Errico, MMA Chairman. Your Massachusetts Motorcycle Association is a founding Sustaining State Motorcyclists' Rights organization of the MRF. Appointed annually to the MRF, the MRF State Representative is not a Board Position, rather an advisor to the Board as well as to the membership of the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association. Doc also serves as the MRF's Director of the State Representatives Program and has been the MRF State Representative for the past 10 years.

Reappointed as Ex-Officio are Dave Condon and Kevin Griffin, both past Chairmen of the MMA, and John Pecora, a long-tenured Board Member who continues to support the MMA in various capacities since his retirement from the Board.

We thank all who attended, including those members who provided valuable insight and suggestions during the meeting, and especially Diane, Doc, Dave, Kevin, and John for their continued dedication to the Association and our members.

For more information, please contact

CALIFORNIA ALERT--My family and my company are leaving California.

It’s heartbreaking.

My parents moved to California four decades ago. I grew up here. For 33 of the 36 years I’ve spent on this planet, I’ve lived here.

I was born at St. Joseph’s in Burbank; I attended elementary school at Edison Elementary; I went to college at UCLA. I co-founded a major media company here, with 75 employees in Los Angeles. I met my wife here; all three of my kids are native Californians.

How are socialists deluding a whole generation?

This is the most beautiful state in the country. The climate is incredible. The scenery is amazing. The people are generally warm, and there’s an enormous amount to do.

And we’re leaving.

We’re leaving because all the benefits of California have steadily eroded—and then suddenly collapsed. Meanwhile, all the costs of California have steadily increased—and then suddenly skyrocketed.

It can be difficult to spot the incremental encroachment of a terrible disease, but once the final ravages set in, it becomes obvious that the illness is fatal. So, too, with California, where bad governance has turned a would-be paradise into a burgeoning dystopia.

When my family moved to North Hollywood, I was 11. We lived in a safe, clean suburb. Yes, Los Angeles had serious crime and homelessness problems, but those were problems relegated to pockets of the city—problems that, with good governance, we thought could eventually be healed. Instead, the government allowed those problems to metastasize.

As of 2011, Los Angeles County counted less than 40,000 homeless; as of 2020, that number had skyrocketed to 66,000. Suburban areas have become the sites of homeless encampments. Nearly every city underpass hosts a tent city; the city, in its kindness, has put out port-a-potties to reduce the possibility of COVID-19 spread.

Police are forbidden in most cases from either moving transients or even moving their garbage. Nearly every public space in Los Angeles has become a repository for open waste, needles, and trash. The most beautiful areas of Los Angeles, from Santa Monica beach to my suburb, have become wrecks.

My children have personally witnessed drug use, public urination, and public nudity. Looters were allowed free reign in the middle of the city during the Black Lives Matter riots; Rodeo Drive was closed at 1 p.m., and citizens were curfewed at 6 p.m.

To combat these trends, local and state governments have gamed the statistics, reclassifying offenses and letting prisoners go free. Meanwhile, the police have become targets for public ire. In July, the city of Los Angeles slashed police funding, cutting the force to its lowest levels in over a decade.

At the same time, taxes have risen. California’s top marginal income tax rate is now 13.3%; legislators want to raise it to 16.8%. California is also home to a 7.25% sales tax, a 50-cent gas tax, and a bevy of other taxes that drain the wallet and burden business.

California has the worst regulatory climate in America, according to CEO Magazine’s survey of 650 CEOs. The public-sector unions essentially make public policy, running up the debt while providing fewer and fewer actual services.

California’s public education system is a massive failure, and even its once-great colleges are now burdened by the stupidities of political correctness, including an unwillingness to use standardized testing.

And still, the state Legislature is dominated by Democrats. California is not on a trajectory toward recovery; it is on a trajectory toward oblivion. Taxpayers are moving out—now including my family and my company. In 2019, before the pandemic and the widespread rioting and looting, outmigration jumped 38%, rising for the seventh straight year. That number will increase again this year.

I want my kids to grow up safe. I want them to grow up in a community with a future, with more freedom and safety than I grew up with. California makes that impossible. So, goodbye, Golden State. Thanks for the memories.


GMA #1 choice in Custom FWD Controls--The latest version of GMA’s award winning forward controls incorporates noteworthy modifications targeting specific customer requests. Mounting brackets have been completely reshaped from earlier models providing a lower profile and unique, super clean appearance. Additionally, control kits Part # GMA-FC-100 & GMA-FC-200 now feature a splined shift shaft and shift shaft arm with pinch bolt for plenty of indexing options.

The shaft is also larger in diameter and supported by an oil impregnated bronze bushing pressed into the left side mounting bracket. They’ve also fit an adjustable actuating rod and clevis design for the rear brake pedal, while retaining the adjustable indexing foot lever. A nice touch to get both the brake and shifter levers right where you want them.

The new controls will fit your standard OEM (3) hole left side and (2) hole right side FX and early FL style frames. GMA calls out 1986-1999, but they will fit earlier models. 70’s Shovelhead applications require a modified voltage regular mount. Manufactured 100% in the USA the high tech controls provide the ultimate in form, feel and function.

GMA controls are available with ROUND or FLAT pegs, and finished in show chrome, gloss black or polished. GMA is a member of the Belt Drives LTD., family of companies. For complete details visit the BDL/GMA site at


1952 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra Glide

Posted by Jake Hindes

It’s no secret that Jake Hindes, co-founder of Prism Supply, is into vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycles. If the fact that he and his brother built a company centralized around the niche isn’t enough, proof can also be found in his current and past personal collection. From survivor ’60s choppers to fully-custom show bikes, he’s no stranger to the brand from Milwaukee. But, there is one box he’s yet to check.

During a recent trip to Concord, North Carolina to look at a motorcycle for sale, Jake heard the seller casually mention another “pile of rust” in passing that was stored nearby. An inexperienced buyer would likely ignore the comment for fear of a hopeless money pit. However, Jake knew better than to leave any stone unturned and decided to inquire. 

A few cell phone photos later, Jake saw enough to know there was something special about the rusty motorcycle and wanted to keep digging. But, the seller wasn’t ready to treat the sale seriously, so they let a few months pass and stayed in touch.
“Today’s your lucky day,” read a text Jake received from the seller one day in early summer. The seller was ready to talk and soon after, Jake was en route back to Concord.

The “pile of rust” turned out to be a one-owner 1952 Harley-Davidson FL Hydra Glide sporting the paint color Bronco Bronze Metallic, which was only offered in ’52. Those two facts alone put the motorcycle in a rare category, but upon closer inspection, Jake realized there was something else that made it stand out. 

Underneath the rust were all-original components. From the bolts holding everything together to the engine seals, nothing on the motorcycle had been touched. Come to find out, the last time the bike was fired up was back in 1994 when the original owner used the Panhead to commute to work at Freightliner here in Charlotte, the same city in which the bike was purchased from a local Harley-Davidson dealership. Even the paper Freightliner parking pass remains in the front windscreen to this day.

This was a rare find indeed that Jake was able to purchase and bring to its new home at Prism Supply. Now, the bike will stay in the Queen City where it was first sold over half a century ago.

As for Jake, he can finally check that last box off his list and officially add the elusive barn find as a notch in his belt. And as for the Panhead, it’s currently collecting dust as office decoration. But, there are big plans for the future of this motorcycle. 

“I want to do a complete mechanical restoration on the bike. Visually, it’s important that nothing changes. You won’t find a Prism Supply petcock or taillight on this thing, it’s going to maintain the original aesthetic that Harley intended,” Jake said as he explained his intentions for the bike’s next chapter. 

--Prism Supply Co.

BIKER’S CHOICE IS BACK--Biker’s Choice adds Lift Kits to its Lineup for Harley-Davidson Tri Glide and Freewheeler Models

Fort Worth TX – Biker’s Choice line of parts for Harley-Davidson Tri Glide and Freewheeler trikes now includes a lift kit, one of the products most requested by H-D trike owners.

"These lift kits allow you to easily raise the rear of the trike by 1.5 inches," said James Simonelli, brand manager for Twin Power and Biker’s Choice products. "The greater height reduces the chance of scratching or scraping the bikes exhaust." Many trike owners rave about the improved handling and steering of their vehicle after installing lifts on their bike.

The Biker’s Choice Lift Kits feature durable gloss black powdercoat finish and are sold in pairs. They are proudly made in the United States. There are two versions, P/N 601804 (fits trike models from 2017 to 2020), P/N 601805 (fits trikes from 2009 to 2016).. Both versions retail for $173.95 and are available immediately.

Biker’s Choice products are distributed exclusively in the United States by Tucker Powersports. See your local Tucker V-Twin dealer for more info about Biker’s Choice products.

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Click for action.

THE EXCLUSIVE HANDCRAFTED LANGEN TWO STROKE MOTORCYCLE GETS OFF TO A SMOKING START FOLLOWING ITS PUBLIC DEBUT--After a decade as the Chief Design Engineer at acclaimed CCM Motorcycles, where he created a number of ground breaking motorcycles, in 2019 Christofer Ratcliffe (a.k.a. Langen), took the bold decision to break the shackles of a larger company and establish his own British motorcycle brand with some original and innovative new motorcycles.

Should you rent or buy a motorcycle? Tips on how to decide.

Until recently, the question of whether to rent a motorcycle or buy one was never much of an option. You see, we all agree on one thing: we all wish we had one more bike. But i's only recently that renting a motorcycle has become a reality. And it couldn't have come at a better time. Indian is launching flat-track inspired motos, while Ducati is focusing on the hipster crowd. Harley-Davidson is trying to win back younger riders with their LiveWire electric motorcycle, just as BMW is about to launch a cruiser. We all feel like the proverbial kid in a candy store—excited to be here but paralyzed by choice.

Group of riders
What should we do?

Well, finally it’s easy—and we have prepared our own rent or buy a motorcycle quiz to see which one is best for you. For years the “rent or buy” decision was an option available everywhere except the moto community. Consumers weighed whether they should buy or lease a car, while business owners decided whether they should rent or purchase real estate. Even hiring decisions (full time or temp) are lease or buy propositions. Only recently can we use the same analysis when deciding which bike we'll ride next. BMW, Indian, and Hertz are all launching traditional motorcycle rental locations while Twisted Road has introduced peer-to-peer motorcycle rental in the US.

With additional options, there are three primary considerations

1. Total cost of ownership

2. Type of preferred riding

3. Lifestyle


In almost every situation, renting a motorcycle is less expensive than owning one. For example, a new Harley-Davidson Fat Bob retails for $19K, or $372 a month. Once insurance and maintenance are considered, the cost can approach $500 monthly. Renting a new bike is considerably less, and can average $100-$125 per day.

Now you’re probably thinking “If I ride my bike 5 days a month, it’s better to buy, right?” Not necessarily. First, you need to truly understand how often you will ride. Are you really going to ride 5 days a month, every single month of the year? I live in Chicago, where we're lucky to get six good riding months annually. Given the reduced season, I would need to ride 10 days every month during the season to offset the months without riding while my bike is hibernating.

On the other hand, some regions are made for year-round riding. For example, not only can you ride year round (and rent a motorcycle) in Los Angeles, but you can also lane split. In San Francisco, you’ll see dedicated motorcycle parking on the street due to the sheer volume of bikes. In these climates, many people commute on their motos. It’s a rider’s dream.

Mountain Ride
Type of riding

Motorcycle rental options can be a little limiting. Many don’t offer trikes or scooters, and none of them allow for off-road riding. If you love to ride a dirt bike, or need to take your BMW 1200 GSA on an off-road adventure, consider buying. But if you will be on two wheels, on the pavement, there are often motorcycles available that will meet your needs.

In addition, maybe you just want a Vespa to take shorter trips, or a Slingshot to “see and be seen”. All fun toys, but in these cases, rental options are more limited. If you have the space in the garage, it may be time to buy.

Twisted Road Motorcycle

Do you crave variety? Do you drool at motorcycle shows and yearn for the day when you can afford the latest innovation? Do you travel frequently and always mutter the same six words (“I wish I had my bike”?) If so, rental is likely the best option.

There are some riders who have the benefit of additional space and income. These riders can afford to own multiple bikes – a café racer to zip around town, and a touring bike for longer riders. An adventure ride for off-roading, and even a track bike to hone their skills. If you have the resources, by all means purchase another bike. Or two. Or three.

In addition, if you love to wrench, or evolve your skills with some new stunts, or if you enjoy customizing your pride and joy so it stands out at Sturgis, then go to your local dealer and buy a bike. Rentals won’t give you what you need to fill your lifestyle needs.

While you are deciding, make sure you take the quiz. It will give you some direction as to whether renting or buying is right for you. But whatever the decision, make sure you do one thing: just ride.


Click to get started.
Click to get started.

KODLIN USA Extends Lowering Kit Program--

More news from Kodlin USA about the company's award-winning lowering kit for 2018 and up single shock M-8 Softails such as the FLHC/FLHCS Heritage Classic, FXBR/FXBRS Breakout, FLFB/FLFBS Fat Boy models, FLSB Sport Glides, FXBS/FXFB Fat Bob, FLDE Deluxe and FXDR 114.

The kit lowers the bike by up to 40 mm and does not require shortening of the threaded rod or sending in of the suspension for final assembly. The company is reporting excellent initial sales for the kit, but though it is a genuinely reversible 'plug and play' install that includes pre-installed bearings, the company says some dealers are nonetheless reporting issues working on the shock to get to the bolt to install the Kodlin part.

There is a tool available from Motion Pro that gets the job done, but Kodlin has also now developed what it describes as a "simple but extremely effective" shock/spring compression tool of its own for M-8 Softail models.

In additional news, a new version of the kit is now also available for M-8 Softails such as the Street Bob, Slim, Standard etc. that is without the pre-load adjuster knob.


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Click for Action!

Magnesium wheel pioneer passes.
--Roberto Marchesini, 1941-2020

The other day I had to write off another friend from the old days, Roberto Marchesini. He was not a racer or a team manager, but in the paddocks of any Grand Prix he was one of the most popular name among racers, technicians, and team managers for the very simple reason that Roberto can be regarded as a pioneer of cast magnesium motorcycle wheels and the immensely dedicated promoter of their constant evolution to ever higher levels of efficiency and safety.

No doubt that Marchesini was very popular with racers and team managers, but his highly focused technical mind did not prevent him from having an extrovert personality and very friendly manners—spiced up by his very positive humor.

He was born in Bologna in 1941 and after he graduated from the technical high school, in 1960 he went to work at the local Campagnolo light metals foundry. Old genius Tullio Campagnolo not only was the first to conceive and realize a multi-speed group and related shifter for bicycles, but he also was a great visionary who immediately perceived the potential of many new technologies. Roberto soon became one of the chief technicians and was placed at the head of the department that would develop the casting technologies needed to manufacture car and motorcycle wheels. And make them the lightest and the strongest possible.

Magnesium motorcycle wheels had already been produced, but were heavier than the characteristics of magnesium would allow, and they also looked clumsy. Roberto learned how to optimize air temperature and humidity in the casting area to prevent all possible flaws in the wheel castings. Campagnolo magnesium motorcycle wheels were a huge success. Roberto soon reached a top position at Campagnolo, but he knew he had to aim higher.

He left and went to Marvic and helped the then-small company to become a major player in high-performance magnesium motorcycle wheels. From there, in 1988, Roberto took over a small light-alloys foundry and started his own firm, Marchesini Wheels. He worked with enormous dedication and creativity, progressively evolving the cast magnesium wheels to a higher stage of technology: forged magnesium wheels, even lighter and stronger.

Being also a practical man, he adapted the technological innovations achieved to create forged aluminum wheels more cheaply and thus reaching a much vaster audience. Around the year 2000, Marchesini Wheels was acquired by the Brembo Group, and this opened new perspectives of technological refinement….

By Bruno dePrato
Read the whole story on Cycle World

NEW FROM S&S--NEW - 540 Torque Cam for Big Bore M8 Models

Big horsepower numbers are the status symbol of a performance engine, but more often than not, the bolstered torque spec is what you really feel when riding it. This is particularly relevant for the heavy touring machines as it’s torque that rockets you onto the highway and it’s definitely torque that lets you effortlessly push a loaded bagger around slower traffic.

With that in mind, S&S Cycle created the 540 cam for M8 powered bikes. The 540 is designed to work with their 124” and 128” big bore kits and produce stump pulling torque down low in the RPM range as well as maintain respectable horsepower numbers.

Available in gear or chain drive and in a complete cam chest kit with pump, plate, pushrods and tappets. Check out their dyno charts for the hard numbers (130+ lb ft and on a conservitive 124” build!) and for more info hit up


Big Bore M8's are the new black, so naturally we are focused on making them better! We recognize (and encourage!) torque is often more important than HP and built a cam specifically to extract as much grunt out of a 124/128 big bore M8 as possible. Hit me up if you need a sample for editorial ~ DZ

--David Zemla VP - Marketing
S&S® Cycle, Inc.
14025 County Highway G, Viola, WI 54664
Office 608.627.0358

ALERT FOR BLUE WATER VETERANS--VA’s collaboration with NARA digitizes Vietnam-era deck logs

The Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act of 2019 gave VA an opportunity to consider new and previously submitted Blue Water Navy claims. Now, thanks to collaboration with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), VA and NARA are helping to determine ship locations and to digitize more than 1,800 vessels’ deck logs.

The data contained in these ships’ deck logs is critical in determining qualifying ship locations in accordance with the law. For the first time, VA will have each of these ships mapped with precision, providing a comprehensive view of their locations.

VA estimates that there are between 420,000 and 560,000 Vietnam-era Veterans who may be considered Blue Water Navy Veterans. The law also extends benefits to survivors and dependents of those Veterans with confirmed service and whose claims would have been granted as a result of the new law.

What Veterans need to know

NARA’s and VA’s collaboration has already assisted in granting more than 22,524 claims since Jan. 1, 2020. The effort digitized more than 29 million images from U.S. Navy and Coast Guard deck logs. It has also provided data, such as ship name, date and coordinates to feed an internal claims-related technical processing system that identifies the vessels that may have traveled within the offshore waters of the Republic of Vietnam. This proactive approach ensures that Rating Veterans Service Representatives have the evidence needed to render a decision the first time a case is reviewed.

This effort has resulted in faster service for Veterans and reduced the need for physical handling of archival records which preserves our nation’s historical documents. NARA is in the process of redacting the images to make them publicly accessible on the National Archive’s website.

How to file a claim

VA works with Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) and other partners to ensure Veterans and survivors are aware of the changes and know how to determine eligibility for disability compensation or Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) when filing a claim.

If Veterans, survivors or dependents have previously filed and were denied a claim, they can file a supplemental claim. VA encourages Veterans to work with an approved claims representative or VSO to determine if they qualify.

To learn more, please visit

All veterans should join.
All veterans should join.

Daniel Kuester and Meghan Badame contributed to this blog. Kuester is a Navy Veteran and a Public Affairs Specialist for VBA’s Office of Strategic Engagement. Badame is a Communications Specialist with VBA’s Media Relations team.

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Click for action.

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Reader Comments

I really enjoyed reading about Hal and seeing his wonderful works named Seal Beach and Avalon. I know others will find it interesting too.Thanks for showing them and I know Hal would really like seeing them up on too. Maybe he can.

Ann Robinson
Garden Grove, CA
Friday, October 23, 2020
Editor Response You never know, with that guy...

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