American Motorcycle Dealer AMD 217 August 2017 - Page 18

50 years of KONI/Ikon motorcycle suspension This year sees the heritage of one of the market’s oldest shock absorber brands being celebrated, with 2017 marking the 50th anniversary of the KONI motorcycle suspension being founded in the Netherlands. Starting in 1967, KONI B.V. in Holland introduced a range of motorcycle shock absorbers which they made until early 2001, after which Proven Products Pty Ltd in Australia - who had been the Australian importer for the KONI range - signed an exclusive licensing agreement and began to make the range. Known since then as Ikon Suspension, Proven Products has continued to expand and grow their Ikon brand into 2017, 50 years on. Although KONI and Proven Products/Ikon are not connected in any way today, the agreement allowed for the KONI designs to be used as a foundation for the new Ikon range. For that reason, the products of today and earlier years have an almost identical appearance and a level of interchangeability. The KONI range started with a mix of specific applications and universal options for those with standard or custom motorcycles. The 1970s saw the development of lighter weight alloy bodied moto cross shocks, featuring cooling finned gas pressurised, non- adjustable, non-rebuildable 23 series with a range of linear and progressive rate springs. The progressively rated springs began to provide ride benefits not previously enjoyed. The introduction of these springs was a significant change, and the impact still echoes in today’s Koni products and motorcycle shock absorbers in general. In the early 1980s KONI introduced the 7610 series, which continued to use the range of progressive rate springs and added 4-position external rebound adjustment. KONI’s later range of mono shocks (3014 series) had aluminum bodies with externally adjustable rebound, screw thread pre- load and progressive rate springs, the focus primarily being the BMWs of the 1980s and early 1990s. By this time the motorcycle marketplace was dominated by mono shock bikes, with only a few makes and models, such as Harley-Davidson and Moto Guzzi, having twin shocks. Black body and springs Chrome body, springs, cap and skirt Chrome body, black springs and chrome cap 7610 series rebuildable shock absorbers with four-position externally adjus table rebound, spring seat adjustable in three positions and a progressive spring 7614 series shock absorbers with four- position externally adjustable rebound, screw thread spring seat adjustment, progressive spring, lightweight aluminum body, and they are gas pressurised The dawn of the Ikon brand in 2000/2001 saw the range limited to the 7610 series shocks at first as the classic retro market emerged, and there was a new lease of life for twin shock suspensions - both in new model and restoration terms. The range began to grow and expand with the creation of a new line of modern style aluminum bodied shocks, the 7614 series. A range of fork springs followed, along with an extensive range of upgraded progressive rate fork springs, which continues to grow and keep pace with new applications. Ikon’s 3610 mono shocks now have 100 applications and feature rebuildability, 4-position rebound adjustment, progressive rate springs and screw thread pre-load. On some applications, OEM remote pre-load adjusters can be retro-fitted. The most recent additions to the Ikon range have been mono tube aluminum bodied shocks (3214 series) for road and off-road applications and a line of non-adjustable Basix shocks aimed at the budget conscious rider. Ikon Suspension owner Geoff Lowe says the future continues to look bright for the brand, with a market that rewards the kind of diversity that Ikon now represents. Kustom Kulture Artisan Show at the Cherokee Blue Ridge Run The Kustom Kulture Artisan Show is an extreme artisan show produced by Biker Pros for the Cherokee Blue Ridge Run (blueridgerun.com) with some $23,000 of awards on offer. The 3-day event is scheduled for September 8th -10th in the North Carolina mountains and promises “great riding, great music and plenty of cool stuff,” says custom show organizer Jeff Najar. “The Kustom Kulture Artisan Show will be an extravaganza of sights and sounds. Enthusiasts will be able to 18 experience what it takes to build a custom bike from metal work to leather work and try their hand at numerous disciplines including pinstriping. A hands-on skills workshop display called ‘Grease + Gears’ will add to the experience.” Hosted at the Cherokee Fairgrounds Display Hall, where competitors are competing for the largest payout AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE DEALER - AUGUST 2017 on the East Coast in three classes, with FreeStyle paying through six places. More cash and trophies will be awarded for Best Chopper, Best Bagger, Best Cafe Racer, Best FXR/Dyna and People’s Choice. “Showcasing custom motorcycles, providing a platform for builders to show their skills and get together with other enthusiasts, is what it’s all about! It’ll be a fun weekend,” said Mark Cresswell, Rally Director. The FreeStyle winner receives an additional $2,000 to compete in the Championship of the Americas at AIMExpo in Ohio. If they win there, the bike and owner receives a trip to Germany for the AMD World Championship. “The Kustom Kulture Artisan Show highlights builders who create exceptional builds, from low cost “less is more” customs to one-off, multi-year “big buck” projects that can take years to complete,” explained Bob Kay, Biker Pros Partner. www.custombikeshows.com www.AMDchampionship.com