2018 - S&S Cycle, 60th Anniversary
Before anyone starts whippin' out their calculators: it's been 60 years now that S&S Cycle was founded.
The first kick was provided by none other than George J. Smith with his 1939 HD Knucklehead which he in 1952 had tweaked a little, giving her a little more bore (that was the easy part), and a little more stroke (try that at home).
These judicious measures helped him to garner a few race wins and a 152.02 mph run on the Bonneville salt. And eventually to form a company that at first with aluminium pushrods and today with everything from carbs to flywheels to exhaust systems helps to make those Milwaukee (just 170 miles from Viola as the crow flies) thoroughbreds a tiny bit faster.
60 years of making Harleys faster, if that isn't reason enough for a righteous birthday bash, then we don't know.
The guests had the opportunity to check out the inhouse museum, the production floors, the warehouse in Viola and the LaCrosse exhaust system production.At the official friday night dinner company founder George J. Smith again told those tales again of nitro and alcohol from the days before electronic ignitions and injection systems, of historic race tracks and irresponsible speeds. And always there was the vibe of what S&S is all about: more horsepower. Going faster.
What better birthday present for a company devoted to speed like this one than a real life flat track in the company grounds in Viola, Wisconsin. Come Saturday, birthday guests had a chance to have a go at flat tracking, after some basic instruction where necessary.
Those of the guests who didn't fancy the drifts and the dirt had the choice of S&S road bikes for a quick speed oriented spin around the Viola countryside along the mighty Mississippi with S&S vice president Paul Devine. No old farts ride though - they kinda don't like slow bikes around here.Which was evident again on Sunday, named 'Rumble at the Ranch', when numerous pick up trucks towing trailers came rolling into the grounds. Riders, both men and women, were donning their helmets and leathers, pushing their trackers to the start line and let loose on the dirt. Faster, faster! Go, go, go! And the beer was cold cold cold! Yeah, they know what counts here at S&S.