S&S Cycle

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S&S Cycle
FounderGeorge J. Smith and Stanley Stankos
HeadquartersViola, Wisconsin
Key people
George J. Smith, Marjorie Smith, Stanley Stankos
ProductsMotorcycle engines

S&S Cycle is an American motorcycle engine and parts engineer and manufacturer. The company was founded in 1958 by George J. Smith and Stanley Stankos in Blue Island, Illinois.[1] The company started by selling high performance pushrods for Harley-Davidson motorcycles,[2] and today they still make parts for a variety of V-Twin bikes. The company's current president is Paul Langley.[3][4]


Soon after the formation of S&S, George's wife, Marjorie, bought out Stanley Stankos and Smith & Stankos became Smith & Smith.[5] In 1969, the company moved from Blue Island to establish a new headquarters in Viola, Wisconsin. S&S still operates at this location, but opened an additional facility in La Crosse, Wisconsin in 2004.[6]

In July 2007 S&S purchased the Flathead Power (FHP) brand name and intellectual property (trademarks, patents and designs) along with the remaining inventory of parts and tooling and is continuing the vintage brand;[7] the brand was resold in 2014 to the original owner.[citation needed]

In June 2008, the company held its 50th anniversary celebration in La Crosse. Over 28,000 motorcycle enthusiasts attended the celebration, according to the La Crosse Tribune.

Copying controversy[edit]

S&S attracted controversy in 2005 when Harley-Davidson filed a patent and trademark infringement lawsuit against the company along with fellow aftermarket engine manufacturer Delkron, Inc. Harley accused S&S and Delkron of copying parts for Twin Cam engines and using Harley trademarks without permission. S&S argued that the suit was without any legal basis, and asserted that "a mutually beneficial relationship existed" between them and Harley.[8]

Engine technology[edit]

S&S engine
2012 model year Morgan trike with S&S engine at the front

S&S Cycle develops performance replacement engines for v-twin motorcycles, most of which are replacement engines for Harley-Davidson models and are manufactured in the United States. In addition, S&S Cycle developed their own proprietary pushrod v-twin engine, dubbed the X-Wedge that features a 56° cylinder angle instead of the 45° angle used in Harley-Davidson v-twin engines, and which was developed with the custom motorcycle builder (OEM) in mind. The X-Wedge is the basis for the engine from a number of high end motorcycle manufacturers such as Arch Motorcycle and Confederate Motorcycle. The X-Wedge recently found a different kind of application, having been chosen to be the power plant utilized by Morgan Motor company, based out of the United Kingdom, for their development of the Morgan 3 Wheeler cycle car.

S&S was the first motorcycle engine manufacturer to produce pre-certified United States Environmental Protection Agency compliant engines,[9] lifting the burden and cost of performing the complicated EPA testing procedures from the companies and enthusiasts who buy S&S engines. The company also produces TÜV certified engines,[10] and has even succeeded in complying with California's unique emissions requirements.[11] S&S is the only motorcycle company in the world to manufacture Knucklehead, Shovelhead, Panhead, Evolution-style engines and Twin-cam style engines. S&S manufactures the largest (143 cu. in.) engine to fit a stock Harley-Davidson frame.



  1. ^ SSCycle.com Archived 2007-12-24 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Quality for 46 Years: Proven Performance by S&S Archived 2008-03-17 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Brett Smith Bio at SSCycle.com Archived 2008-03-16 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ S&S Cycle Company Profile at bizjournals.com
  5. ^ S&S Cycle and ExxonMobil Team Up
  6. ^ S&S Cycle, Burning up the road Archived 2008-03-16 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Flathead Power® - Keeping vintage iron on the road". Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  8. ^ American Motorcyclist. American Motorcyclist Association. August 2005. pp. 43–. Retrieved 15 July 2018.
  9. ^ S&S Cycle procures EPA Certification
  10. ^ "S&S Cycle announces TÜV approval of a Carbureted V-Series Engine to EURO III Noise and Exhaust Emission Standards". 14 May 2009.
  11. ^ "S&S Engines Now California Certified". 28 April 2009.
  12. ^ Garrett, Jerry (2011-02-25). "Geneva Auto Show: Morgan 3 Wheeler". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-03-04. It was announced to have an 81-horsepower V-twin motorcycle engine built by S & S, the same company that builds motors for so-called Harley clone choppers, and is closely based on late-model Harley-Davidson power plants. However, the UK test the final bhp at 81 bhp.
  13. ^ Berkowitz, Justin (March 2011). "Morgan 3-Wheeler - Auto Shows". Car and Driver. Hachette Filipacchi Media U.S. Archived from the original on 2011-03-04. Retrieved 2011-03-04. This S&S-supplied powerplant is a bit more modern, though: It produces 81 hp, is fuel-injected, and is mated to a Mazda-sourced five-speed gearbox.
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ TKS - S&S Dragon T143 is the Answer to Every HD Bagger Performance Question - There's 160+ rear wheel hp and 170 pound feet of torque in a stock frame By Paul Crowe

External links[edit]