LA CROSSE, WI (October 3, 2008) S&S® Cycle Inc. the leader in Proven Performance components and engines for American v-twin motorcycles marks the start of 51 years of business this week. Still glowing with the excitement of the S&S 50th Anniversary Celebration that took place in June of this year, October 1, 2008 marked the start of a new fiscal year for the company. The S&S Cycle Board of Directors, led by Chairman George Smith met to set a course for year 51—and beyond.
Their first order of business was to deal with the impending resignation of S&S president Brett Smith—George’s son and grandson of founders George and Marge Smith--effective December 1, 2008. During his tenure he assisted with the formation of the Motorcycle Industry Council’s American V-Twin Aftermarket Committee, the establishment of both EPA and CARB certified engine programs, and has been a consistent advocate for the v-twin industry on a global scale. The capstone of his focus on emissions-related product offerings was the release of the proprietary and 50-state 2010 emissions compliant S&S X-Wedge™ engine. At the same time, Brett rededicated the company’s efforts regarding classic/vintage components with the release of the SH and P-series engines and with the acquisition of Flathead Power assets in July, 2007. He has also been credited with significantly growing internationals sales, creating annual S&S marketing projects such as this year’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, and establishing several key alliances with companies such as Super Flow, Mobil 1, Gates Drive Belts, and the NHRA.
“It has been an honor serving as a steward to our family business the past 6 ½ years,” said Brett Smith. “I am confident the measures we’ve taken over the past several years with respect to new products like the X-Wedge, our dealer development efforts, rapid international sales growth and a clear focus on emissions related efforts have set a solid foundation on which to build over the next decade.” Brett concluded, “I’m looking forward to watching things develop as a shareholder and seeking new opportunities for my family and me.”
Chairman George Smith will assume the role of interim CEO and lead the company as Brett transitions out of the presidency. George helped S&S grow dramatically during his past tenure as president, and has served on the Board of Directors since 1980. Since leaving daily S&S operations in October of 1993, George has remained closely involved with the business while assembling a successful racing team, G2 Motorsports, which has influenced the sport of drag racing by developing a complete S&S-powered machine that has changed the face of NHRA Pro Stock Motorcycle competition. George’s return to operational leadership will build on the momentum Brett created.
Said George Smith, “I am proud of the job my son has done for S&S and my parents would be proud as well. He has put together a great team and done a lot over the past several years and I will miss having him at S&S.” George concluded, “I respect his request to move on and I know he’ll do well at whatever he pursues after taking some much needed time off with Robin and the kids.”
The operational news as S&S enters year 51 is a rededication to performance components. S&S built its reputation designing complete performance packages to make American motorcycles more fun to ride. Now, the focus is back to follow founder George Smith, Sr.’s most famous line “to make every motorcycle go faster.” There will be more new “old” products and new “new” products reinforcing the Company mantra.
Starting with the “old” new products, the S&S KN-Series engines and a line of KN replacement parts will be available in early November. These 93ci vintage beauties will provide plenty of power, significant improvements over the original design and satisfy a need for riders that love old iron. On the “new” new front, S&S will be releasing bolt-in high torque cams that increase performance for late model touring applications. Riders of 2008 -’09 baggers will see great performance increases with the availability of bolt on S&S air cleaners and exhaust products—along with several new Hot Set Up Kits. Finally, 2009 will also see S&S introducing a complete line of chrome billet components to upgrade the looks of all S&S engines.
S&S Cycle has been a leading manufacturer of Proven Performance v-twin motorcycle components and engines for nearly 50 years. George Smith and Stanley Stankos founded the company in 1958 in Blue Island, Illinois. Shortly after the founding of S&S, George, and his wife Marjorie (whose maiden name was also Smith), bought out Stanley Stankos and Smith & Stankos became Smith & Smith (S&S). In 1969, S&S moved from Blue Island to Viola, Wisconsin and expanded to La Crosse, Wisconsin in 2004. This 3rd generation business supplies components and/or engines to several large custom OEs including: American Ironhorse, APC, Arlen Ness, Big Bear Choppers, Big Dog, Bourget Bike Works, Orange County Choppers, Saxon, Swift, Victory, & West Coast Choppers (please see the S&S website for a complete listing located at http://www.sscycle.com).