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S&S Fills the Void with Viola V-Twin

And Speeds up Everyday Service Work

By Wrench and Kevin Boarts with photos from the Viola V-Twin Team

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Kevin Boarts from S&S and Viola V-Twin.
Kevin Boarts from S&S and Viola V-Twin.

We ran into a section of the S&S display in Cincinnati at the V-Twin Expo, called Viola V-Twin and we were immediately curious. We met with Bruce Tessmer and discussed it briefly. Here is the official description: S&S Cycle is extremely pleased to offer a selection of high quality service parts for Harley-Davidson and other American v-twin motorcycles.

Viola V-Twin! Anyone familiar with S&S Cycle will recognize the name of the small village of Viola, Wisconsin that has been our home since 1969. S&S is best known for performance products, but Viola V-Twin is specifically designed to provide the parts needed for everyday repairs and motorcycle maintenance.

This may have also been a brilliant response to the economy in a time of heavy regulation, when the term performance must be hidden behind a race-only requirement. Just recently we discussed Viola V-Twin with Bruce who introduced us to the main player in the Viola team, Kevin Boarts. Here’s what he had to say:

Click on the logo for more info.
Click on the logo for more info.

BIKERNET: Tell me the code of the west behind Viola V-Twin or the mantra, or just a basic description.

KEVIN: That's not a simple question. S&S was built around making motorcycles go faster. Proven Performance is not only part of our logo, it is embedded in everything that we do. Part of that is listening to feedback from our dealers. What they have told us is that they are performing more and more service work on a daily basis. Add to this and the independent dealer is having a harder time finding a source for quality service parts. Our response to this is Viola V-Twin. Our goal is to provide a one-stop shop for everything that the dealer needs to get the service job done and send his customer down the road with a smile on his face.

BIKERNET: How will your dealers benefit from VVT service kits.

KEVIN: Value. We bring value to the dealer in a couple of ways.

First: Quality. There are a lot of parts that S&S uses in the engines we build every day that work as well as or better than the parts in a stock engine. Those parts form the core of the Viola V-Twin products. To address the gaps in that offering, we have partnered with several other companies who share the S&S commitment to quality American made parts proven to work well. A product is not added if it does not meet the same high standards for quality that S&S is known for.

Second: Time. The dealer is not making money if he is not working on motorcycles. Many small shops are just one-or-two-man operations and placing a parts order takes both time and knowledge of the job to insure the proper parts list is compiled. Some dealers spend hours after the shop closes insuring orders are placed correctly.

Our Complete Service Kits take the guesswork out, as well as eliminate the need to page through huge catalogs for each individual piece. We have looked at a given job for a given motorcycle and put together all of the parts needed into one part number. For instance, if the job was to replace the cams in an ‘08 Ultra, the kit would not only include the cams but also the bearings, cam cover gasket, tappet cover gaskets, tappets, pushrods, and exhaust gaskets. Everything needed with one part number.

That is assuming the owner wants to replace his worn out or failed stock cams. We have developed stock grinds for the rider who is not interested in adding performance. We haven't forgotten the performance guy. The dealer can also order the same kit without the stock cams, so he can use any grind he wants. The list of kits is extensive and we covered as many of the common service tasks as possible. In addition to ease of ordering, this also adds an added layer of accuracy to the job. There is nothing worse than having a bike sit idle on a lift because a certain gasket or o-ring was missed when placing the initial order. S&S has also launched a Dealer Portal. It is not VVT specific but it benefits all S&S dealers. They can log on and place orders, check order status and history, track shipments and check inventory 24 hrs a day.

Third: Money. These are not cheap knockoff parts. They are premium parts with a proven track record for reliability. The end result will be fewer comebacks due to failed parts and a happier, repeat customer.

BIKERNET: So this is not about performance, sort of a switch for S&S? Is that the reason for the name change?

KEVIN: It is a shift, and that is part of the reason for the name change. We wanted there to be a differentiation between the go-fast parts of S&S and the service parts of Viola V-Twin. lots of parts cross over into both realms, but Viola V-Twin also contains parts from several other brands. Under the same Viola V-Twin umbrella you will find parts from manufacturers like Cycle Electric, Baker Drivetrain, Cometic Gaskets, and many others along with the S&S brand parts.

BIKERNET: Tell me how VVT will benefit the guy on the street?

KEVIN: The guy on the street stands to gain a lot. First and foremost we support the local independent shop. We provide top quality parts that are available to them, easy to order and fairly priced. Making it easier for the shop to do business is sure to translate to better customer service. An added benefit to the DIY guy is that he can order these Complete Service Kits for his own use. He just needs to order them through the dealer. Everybody wins. Plus the time saved in the service department is amazing.

BIKERNET: What years and models will the kits cover?

KEVIN: Viola V-Twin carries parts for 1936 to 2014 Harley-Davidson models. Currently, the Complete Service Kits cover 84-99 Evolution models and 99-14 Twin Cam models. Complete Service Kits for Sportsters and vintage engines are in my plans for upcoming releases.

BIKERNET: Will dealers and dealerships have access to your kits?

KEVIN: Absolutely. Our target is the independent S&S dealer, we want to be thought of as a silent partner, helping to take away the roadblocks to growing their business. However, there is nothing to stop a dealership from benefitting as well.

BIKERNET: How did you get involved and what is your roll. Whose inspiration was VVT? Should we give him or her credit or keep it to ourselves?

KEVIN: That requires several answers. I'd like to say that I woke in the middle of the night with divine inspiration for VVT. I've always wanted to walk around like Elwood Blues saying "I'm on a mission from God." The truth of the matter though is this: The inspiration came from our dealers. They asked for this, I'm just helping to fill the order.

As for myself, I spent time in shops working in both parts and service. I have been the independent shop owner, and now I’m in a position to help. I also have a history in training the technicians of tomorrow, in addition to having a hand in the current S&S dealer training programs. Bundled up, my work experience makes me a good fit for managing our Service Parts offering.

Click on the catalog for the download.
Click on the catalog for the download.

BIKERNET: Will S&S have VVT Service centers set up at major events?

KEVIN: I have another ambiguous answer for that. We will not have an actual service area. The possibilities are just too vast for us to be able to service everyone's possible needs. We cannot carry a complete mobile shop everywhere we go.

We do though have several people at any given event come to our trailer looking for advise or help. There are always tech savvy folks on hand to help. If you don't see me personally, just grab one of the other event team members and we'll do our best to assist.

BIKERNET: Will there be training connected to the kits and dealers?

KEVIN: At this time, no. Most of the parts and kits we have available should be familiar to our dealers. I will not rule this out as an eventual possibility though. I would love to host a seminar for the local dealers when we are at an event. It is only a matter of time.

BIKERNET: Tell me about this list of kits? Is this just the beginning?

KEVIN: The current list of Complete Service Kits is somewhat comprehensive for Evolution and Twin Cam engines. It is indeed just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There will be a few additions to these categories this year. Kits for Sportster models is the next on my radar followed by the vintage engine families as time allows.

Watch for constant additions to the VVT offering. We only print the catalog once a year, but the website is under constant development and will always be the most comprehensive and current source. An up to date version of the catalog can also be downloaded at:

BIKERNET: Can I get a gasket kit for a 1926 H-D overhead valve Peashooter? What the hell?

KEVIN: Well, no, and while I know the spirit of the question, it gives rise to an important point. I am always seeking feedback from the customers. I talk to dealers everyday and value what they have to say. I have one check mark on the list for Peashooter gasket kits. I keep track. When I get enough interest, I will try to make it happen. Please send me suggestions by filling out the form at


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Reader Comments

This could be cool since the catalogs don't give you all of the information you may need to order properly for every job.

So now how do I get your catalog and dealer number?

Two Guys Motorcycle Shop
Loveland, CO
Friday, July 1, 2016
Editor Response Hey Jeff,

I reached out to S&S. They have shut down the Viola V-Twin effort for now, but I'm sure you can reach out to them about becoming a dealer. I'm sure you'll find out more about the Viola program in the process.

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