All posts by Sam Kanish

Harley-Davidson HOG Booster Portable Battery Pack

It’s getting to be that time of year when riders around most of the country are starting to think about getting their steel horse out, weather permitting of course. Now if you’re one of those ones who think the old girl will fire up right away even though you didn’t have it hooked up to a trickle charger while it was dormant over the winter. Or if you’re like me and have a bike with a high compression motor and an older battery here’s an item you might want to invest in.

The HOG Booster from Harley-Davidson is a compact but powerful unit that can help you out when you hear that slow growling sound coming from the starter. If so before you hear that dreaded ‘click, click, click’ you can pull the HOG Booster out of your saddlebag or Tour-pak, hook the cables to your battery posts and you now have 1000 amps of 12-volt power ready to help crank that motor over.
When fully charged; which you can do by connecting it to a USB port on a PC, a 12V outlet via the included adapter, or a cell phone charger, the HOG Booster is capable of more than two dozen ‘boosts’. The unit is designed so the connections are spark proof and it won’t allow reverse polarity to damage the bike’s electrical system. Not only that but it will charge your electronic devices and has a 100-lumen flashlight built in. It’s sort of like an electronic Swiss Army Knife.

The Harley-Davidson HOG Booster (part #6600130, $129.95) comes with the booster unit, cables with alligator clips, 12V cigarette lighter adapter, storage bag, and instruction booklet. It is available at your local Harley-Davidson dealer or from .

There are a couple minor things I think they could change. I wish the cables were just a tad longer although they were much heavier than I expected, and the storage bag could be more substantial. That said I know I’ll have a HOG Booster stashed somewhere on my bike whenever I ride from now on.

Source: Harley-Davidson
Images: Harley-Davidson, Sam Kanish

Gray Ghost II 2014 Land Speed Record Holder Update


An enthusiastic grassroots team with solid street cred!
Jimbo Fischer checked in with results from the Gray Ghost’s latest foray at Loring in Maine:
 All the volunteers are great and looking out for our best interest – going fast, & stopping safe.
Taking home the S&S Challenge hat for fastest naturally aspirated V – Twin of the meet.
We did a 186.744 mph. and the Ghost wasn’t quite feeling his best this week, ecm hick-ups.
We’ll have him feeling better for the AMA Bonneville salt flats Mcy. speed trials next month.
More as it happens.
the Gray Ghost II Project
GHOST LTA%202016[1]
Original post from 2014:

As you all know for several years we at Iron Trader News, and previously at the now defunct IronWorks Magazine, have been following the exploits of the Gray Ghost II Project which consists of Warner Riley, Jimbo Fischer, & Mike Witt. We’d like to pass along this synopsis of the season that they have provided us. If you want to get to see and feel what its like to ride with your tail on fire watch the accompanying videos:

“We all worked awful hard on the Gray Ghost II Project this year – The efforts paid off with eight new land speed records for S&S, and the Gray Ghost II Project of Warner Riley, Jimbo Fischer, & Mike Witt. I hope you enjoy this Seasons wrap up I put together.
It takes a Team – 2014 Gray Ghost II Season Wrap Up

After an almost punishing 2013 LSR season for our new 100 Cu. In. S&S Superstock Sportster engine, the decision was made to “freshin up” the engine with a complete inspection and update on some parts. This meant – Road trips – Best of which is going to the S&S Ranch in Viola Wisc. A must visit for any motorcycle performance enthusiast. A walk through the S&S Museum is like a walk through time. This time, freshin up took on a whole new concept for us. I mean we’re talking S&S Proven Performance type freshin up – Nobody does it better. After several trips the engine and parts are back home in the garage for final assembly. Time to get ready for the LTA Maine Event in Loring Maine –
Here is a link to the LTA Event Runs

The LTA event will be our first time out sporting a fairing and we’ll be entering the Partial Streamline class. Jimbo picked up replica parts to the Cal Rayborn XR 750 1968 Daytona fairing and got down to some fiberglass body work to adapt it to our stretched frame. I worked in a fiberglass shop back in the late 60’s, but it’s been awhile, and I had fun getting into it again.
Everything back together in time – get pre registered, get hotel reservations done, get truck & trailer servicing done, we’re ready for LTA. This track is being called the premier Land Speed Venue east of the Bonneville Salt Flats, and after attending a couple years now I can see how it will fill those shoes. An historical site with a great friendly staff of Volunteers and a Board that really knows how to keep things rolling, with one of the best rookie track orientations a racer could ask for. Good food track side, and in town – this is up state Maine – can you say Lobstah ?
What a great track. You get a time slip for the standing start 1 mi. as well as the 1- 1/2 mile – Records are kept separate for both. What makes it extra special for most is that extra 1/2 mile of W F O – So here’s the story –

First day out was a bit breezy for my first speed run with a fairing, and the education wasted no time in coming with a diagonal cross wind that was the beginning of school. I mean you just gotta love it.
The next day gave us near perfect conditions and here is what happened. We established records in the APS-PG 1650 class with 177.194 in the mile & 184.096 in the mile & half. In the APS-PF class we set records at 177.985 in the mile & 185.119 in the mile & half. Our newly freshened up S&S Superstock engine was just singing. The trip and event was a bit of a tough pull for Warner & Babs at times & they toughed it out and still had fun.

With minimal time left to the event Warner, Babs & I had a pow-wow and decided to go after the existing A-PG 1650 class record. I mean we came here to dance, not sit on the bench. The fairing was removed, gearing changed to accommodate the extra aero drag now. The numbers we had to beat were 171.264 in the mile & 171.165 in the mile & half. After a couple days now on this incredible track, Jimbo is on his game and the Ghost is singing. We bumped those records up to a 174.623 for the mile & a 177.945 for the mile & half. I mean our S&S 100 Cu. In. Superstock Sportster based engine was singing at 7 K+ rpm like – I am so happy I am walking on sun shine. OK, what kind of shine Jimbo ?

OK – Ok – no time to waste. Get back home a get ready for the Big Enchilada, the Mecca of Land Speed Racing – The Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
After the learning curve at LTA the decision was made to use a different fuel additive for our fuel class endeavor. Sorry, can’t tell ya what additives & what ratios unless I can get a sponsorship from them, then I tell you everything about it. The point was – this S&S EFI & ECM system has proven to easily handle the changes with just a little change in the ECM map. Dyno Mike will testify to this. Incredible, I know. I mean I come from the generation of rotary dial telephones. You either memorized your friends phone numbers or had them in a little black book in your pocket.

The 2014 Bonneville Motorcycle Speed Trials were pulled off under some of the most extreme conditions imaginable. I call it the 2014 Slush Fest.
The pits were just that – But – the BMST volunteers had two tracks on higher ground/salt, and had them groomed very nice. Big Kudos to all the BUB Volunteers who returned this year. Rex & Tom in the tower, you guys rock. So after a couple of hair on the back of your neck standing up, maybe even a fresh pair of shorts runs we clocked a good record run. A 185.57 qualifying down run & a 189.336 return run for a new record in the APS-PF 1650 class of 187.45 After nine years going to Bonneville, I have to say this year was the most challenging.
Some good action & helmet cam here to give you a taste of the Bonneville Salt Flats

Ok, no sniveling allowed – time to get ready for the season final event at the East Coast Timing Assoc. Ohio Mile

The September ECTA event in Wilmington Ohio offers the Annual Street Bike Shoot Out & more. If you like cool really fast cars & some of the fastest bikes in the country here is a spot that is really spectator friendly. You can walk the pit or sit track side for an up close view of the action. In fact so many cool street rods & customs come to spectate and that turns out to be a show in itself. OK – Ok – get down to business. The Gray Ghost & I are totally in sync now. He’s talkin to me & I am liking it and talkin back – If I have to explain you’ll either understand or think I fell off the wagon.
We worked awfully hard preparing for this race season, & so far its has been paying off. The records we were going to challenge were APS-PF 1650 at 167.529 and APS-PG 1650 at 181.320 – We finished our 2014 season toping those records with a 186.412 in the APS-PF 1650 and a 186.877 for the APS-PG 1650 class.
Now on YouTube you can check out some helmet cam video – puts you in the drivers seat.

A spectacular season for the Gray Ghost II Team ended with eight new land speed records spread out from the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah to the LTA Maine event in the north lands of Maine.

A huge Thank You goes out to our Sponsors – AutoMeter – Woodstock Harley Davidson – Andrews Precision Cams & Gears – Laurie Jane Swallow – Wayne & Donna Pingel – and most of all to the Team at S&S Proven Performance, you guys Rock the Performance scene.
Not to forget – our Gray Ghost II Project Team of – Crew Chief & LSR Legend Warner Riley, Master Tuner “Dyno Mike” Witt, Inspector & Chief Task Master my inspiration & better half Babs, Brother Lou photo & video documentation & oh yah me, builder/assembler & lucky pilot of this extraordinary Sportster. It Takes A Team !

So what’s up for the 2015 L S R Season for the Gray Ghost II Project ? Stay tuned – We’ll see”

The Gray Ghost Project
21 Land Speed Records

Posted by Sam Kanish

Marilyn’s New Harley Book

Over the years there have been a myriad of books written about Harley-Davidson, its history, and its motorcycles. There’s a new addition to that litany of titles about Harley with Motorbooks release of “HARLEY-DAVIDSON CVO MOTORCYCLES – The Motor Company’s Custom Vehicle Operations” by Marilyn Stemp.

Harley has been in the fore front of ’factory custom’ bikes since the early 70s when it introduced the Super Glide. Everyone knows that the CVO (Custom Vehicle Operations) bikes are the crème-de-la-crème of Harley’s line up of motorcycles. They come with very special distinctive paint schemes and every bell and whistle accessory that a Harley owner could think of. If you want to get a factory custom motorcycle already blinged out, then a CVO is for you.

Likewise this book may be the crème-de-la-crème of ‘coffee table’ books. Like the engines in a CVO it is massive measuring in at just under 10 inches by 12 inches with 224 pages between the covers. Nearly all of those pages are covered with one of the awesome 258 images of the various sub species of CVO motorcycles.

Marilyn and her son Vincent trace the history of the Custom Motorcycle Operations through the years from its meager start with an FXR in 1999. They meticulously chronicle the various changes that have been made to the CVO model in each family of bikes. If you had a question about your CVO, or wanted to stump your friends with trivia about Harley’s CVO bikes you can find the info on these pages.

This book is going to be a must have addition to your library of motorcycle publications, especially if you’re a Harley aficionado. “HARLEY-DAVIDSON CVO MOTORCYCLES – The Motor Company’s Custom Vehicle Operations” by Marilyn Stemp is due for release on April1, 2016. You’ll be able to get it in any discerning book store. If you can’t find it try online at BTW I’m planning on getting Marilyn to sign my copy.

Posted by Sam Kanish

Image from: Motorbooks




Project Livewire Featured at Harley-Davidson Open House

The annual open house at Harley-Davidson York Vehicle Operations is set for Sept. 24-26 at 1425 Eden Rd. The event is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features many free activities. New to this year’s event is Harley-Davidson’s first electric motorcycle, Project Livewire on the Jumpstart – a simulated riding experience. Visitors will also be able to get their picture taken with movie bikes from Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Other activities include:

* Self-guided factory tours from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

* Demo rides (valid motorcycle license required) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring the new 2016 Harley-Davidson® motorcycles

* Moto Sphere motorcycle stunt show by the Moto Maniacs

* Musical entertainment by live bands, including Motif, Ghost Light Radio Show and Lynchpin

* Harley Owners’ Group (H.O.G.) pin stop (membership required for pin)

* 1st Capital Harley-Davidson dealer shopping area

* Food and specialty vendors

On Friday night, Sept. 25, Harley-Davidson will again be the presenting sponsor of Bike Night in Downtown York. A motorcycle parade will kick off events from the York Expo Center at 6 p.m. and continue on Market Street. For more information, visit

For more information about York Open House, check out the event at

Source: Harley-Davidson




Harley has introduced its 2016 lineup but don’t expect any major changes. This year’s models sport some darker colors and military theme paint and some models got upgrades in the engine compartment. Also the Road Glide Ultra makes its return after being on hiatus for a couple years. Here’s Harley’s announcement:

Two new hard-hitting Dark Custom models, the most powerful cruiser lineup in company history, and a broad range of performance and styling enhancements throughout the range highlight Harley-Davidson’s powerful new model lineup for 2016.

The 2016 H-D Motorcycle Highlights:

New Iron 883 and Forty-Eight models assert Harley-Davidson’s Dark Custom leadership with motorcycles inspired by the rebellious spirit of the past updated with modern design and new suspensions that put a little extra smooth in the Harley-Davidson soul.

New S series limited-edition cruisers feature big power and cutting-edge style. The Fat Boy S and Softail Slim S combine rich finishes with the impressive Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine to deliver head-turning style and performance.

Previously only available in Harley-Davidson Touring bikes, the High Output Twin Cam 103 engines upgrade the power for all Softail and Dyna models (except Street Bob), rounding out the most powerful cruiser lineup in Harley-Davidson history.

Project RUSHMORE’s touring revolution expands with the return of the Road Glide Ultra motorcycle.

“This is another historic year for Harley-Davidson,” said Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “We’re introducing the most powerful collection of cruisers in our history, including the brand-new S series. We’re raising the bar on Dark Custom motorcycles with the new Iron 883 and Forty-Eight models, the purest expression of the design movement we started in 2008. And we’re extending our lead in touring with the return of the Road Glide Ultra and redesign of the popular Heritage Softail Classic.”

Dark Custom Soul

The new Iron 883 is intentionally raw and rough around the edges, with a modern design inspired by garage-built bobbers past and present. All-new front and adjustable rear suspension, lighter-weight mag wheels and improved seating increase comfort and control to smooth the road ahead. The new Forty-Eight achieves its menacing stance with a burly front tire, new mag wheels and a massive front end with new 49mm forks, and also benefits from improved adjustable rear suspension and seating. Retro styling cues and a perfect ratio of black, color and chrome give this bike a bold visual presence. Riders navigating rough and tumble urban streets on the lean and nimble Harley-Davidson Street 750 and 500 models will appreciate the improved confidence from new front and rear braking systems.

Most Powerful Cruiser Lineup Ever

Rear tires will beg for mercy with the most powerful cruiser model lineup in Harley-Davidson history. Powered by the Screamin’ Eagle Twin Cam 110 engine, the new Fat Boy S and Softail Slim S cruisers deliver power and performance once reserved for Custom Vehicle Operations (CVO) models. Both limited-edition models feature dark styling for menacing looks that match their muscle. The Softail Slim S is available in a new Olive Gold Denim color with military-inspired styling, paying homage to the post-war customs that launched the bobber movement. Harley-Davidson gives more riders a dose of Project RUSHMORE performance by making the High Output Twin Cam 103 engine standard in every other 2016 Softail model. The High Output Twin Cam 103 is also the new standard engine for all 2016 Dyna models except the Street Bob model.

Fat Boy S
Fat Boy S

Softail Cruise Control

There’s more cruiser news in 2016; for the first time ever electronic cruise control is available on all Harley-Davidson Softail models. The convenience of Harley-Davidson electronic cruise control, enabled by new electronic throttle control, is standard equipment on 2016 Heritage Softail Classic, Softail Deluxe, Fat Boy S and Softail Slim S models and available as an accessory for all other 2016 Softail models.

New Sportster Suspension

All 2016 Sportster models will tame rough roads with all-new front and rear suspension and improved seats working together to enhance rider comfort and control. The new seats incorporate premium materials and revised shapes to provide more supportive comfort. The re-engineered Sportster suspension pairs emulsion coil-over shocks with new front cartridge forks. Nitrogen gas-charged shocks resist oil aeration and feature an internal valve stack with 36mm pistons and high-performance oil to provide superior compression and rebound damping control that reacts quickly to small bumps and keeps the tires in contact on uneven road surfaces. Progressive-rate spring pre-load is adjustable by a threaded collar using a spanner that stows under the seat. Tuned to complement the shocks, the stout forks feature a calibrated piston and valve stack and progressive rate springs for consistent feel throughout the compression and extension range of the suspension. The triple-rate spring and oil lock allows the forks to resist wheel hop under hard braking.

Road Glide Ultra

A two-year absence from the Harley-Davidson Touring line was time well spent infusing the Road Glide Ultra with enhanced style, outstanding aerodynamics and optimized touring ergonomics for rider and passenger– the full influence of the customer-led Project RUSHMORE product-development effort. Propelled by the unrelenting performance of the Twin-Cooled High Output Twin Cam 103 powertrain, the new Road Glide Ultra will exceed the expectations of the most demanding touring motorcyclist.

Heritage Softail Classic

Combining nostalgic style with smooth, modern Softail performance, the Heritage Softail Classic receives refreshed styling for 2016 plus the High Output Twin Cam 103 powertrain, standard electronic cruise control, and a new and improved saddlebag support structure.

The new 2016 Harley-Davidson motorcycles and accessories start rolling into Harley-Davidson dealerships immediately. Visit Harley’s website to see all 2016 Harley-Davidson models and to find a local authorized Harley-Davidson dealer.

 Source and image: Harley-Davidson