When the crew at Twin Power hears the term “V-Twin,” immediately the staccato rumble of an idling custom motorcycle comes to mind. That quintessential American V-Twin sound that reverberates through the chest and can be felt in the bones. For over 30 years, Twin Power has worked hard to be a leader in the aftermarket V-twin parts and accessories market by only producing high-quality products. So much so, that if a Twin Power team member won’t use one its products on their own motorcycle, then the brand won’t sell it. Twin Power was created by bikers, for bikers. They race, they ride, they build their own bikes; which means they know a lot about V-twin motorcycles. We reached out to the man at the helm of Twin Power, brand manager James Simonelli, to learn more about the history of this storied and well-respected V-twin brand.
Tucker Powersports: James, tell us about how the Twin Power brand came to life and why. Was the brand created to fill a void in the market? Or was there some other reason?
James Simonelli: Back when Twin Power first came to market, the aftermarket industry was not like it is today. There were far fewer players, and people still relied heavily on Harley-Davidson for parts for their American V-Twins. We set out to provide high-quality replacement parts that fit and work well at a fair price and still do today.
TP: Twin Power was founded in 1982. Has the brand changed or evolved through the years? Or has the brand stayed true to its original mission statement?
JS: Like everything else, we had to evolve with the times. Motorcycles change, custom trends change, and customer’s needs change. This has obviously affected what we offer, but “By bikers for bikers” and “Fits like it should” still ring as true today as ever. We now focus more on hard replacement parts and performance-oriented parts rather than chrome goodies and such. We still provide the staple items necessary for keeping your American V-twin running strong, and our quality is better than ever. We’ve really earned a great reputation among aftermarket V-twin shops, as most are no longer able to obtain parts at a discounted price. We really fill that void.
TP: As you just mentioned, Twin Power uses the motto, “It fits like it should,” which implies precision-made, high-quality products. Tell us about the meaning behind that statement and its importance.
JS: Today’s aftermarket is vast. There are a lot of manufacturers that sell parts with no verification of fitment or product testing, simply “me too” parts. I’m not stating that we get to test fit every part we sell but do so on a vast majority. We also try to offer a lot of parts that are unique to our brand. It’s good to be able to sell a part with confidence and have happy and loyal customers.
TP: Twin Power also states that “If we won’t run it on our own ride, we won’t sell it to you.” At first glance, that may just seem like a bold claim, but Twin Power stands by that statement, right?
JS: Absolutely. We have a lot of riders here, we have friends who ride, friends who race, reps who ride and wrench, and a good network of “go to” dealers. Most shops have a specialty or “niche.” We identify and rely on these guys for their evaluation of our products. After all, if you don’t really believe in the product, how can you sell it?
TP: Is there a product that helped established Twin Power’s reputation as a brand that makes products that both riders and builders trust?
JS: We built our reputation on staple items; oil, filters, batteries, tubes, and gaskets, but have branched out into more specialty and performance items. I think that riders and builders have learned to trust the entire line of our products.
TP: Is there a criteria for how Twin Power chooses a product to manufacture? Or is the goal to always try and improve upon the standard of a product that’s in the marketplace?
JS: We keep our finger on the pulse of the industry. We watch the trends, we communicate with our reps and dealers extensively. We like to fill voids and help our dealers be successful. If we’re not making stuff that guys want and need, then we missed the mark.
TP: In the Twin Power brand bio, it states, “We hold records.” We assume those records are some type of land speed or quarter-mile records, which indeed are a testament to the quality of Twin power products. Tell us about that.
JS: My personal bike that’s pictured on our website holds two land speed records at The Ohio Mile. A/PG 3000/4 and A/PF 3000/4. [Altered pushrod gas and fuel 3000 cc.] The bike is powered by a highly modified S&S 145 cubic inch engine. It’s street legal and can run the 1/4-mile in the 9.50s at 140+ mph in fully streetable trim, foot shift, D.O.T. tires, and no wheelie bar—with yours truly at the controls. The bike pays tribute to one of my favorite muscle cars of all time. (yeah, I’m a car guy too!)
TP: Similarly, Twin Power brand ambassador Jody Perewitz finished the 2018 Motorcycle Cannonball (3,875-mile transcontinental endurance run for vintage motorcycles) on her 1926 Harley-Davidson JD model, “Marjorie” using Twin Power oil. It seems like you’d be hard pressed to find a better product testimonial than that, right?
JS: You said it! Old Harley engines of iron construction are very demanding on oil. We’re so happy for Jody’s success. She’s an all-star, and as you said, a true ambassador.
TP: What’s a fun fact about Twin Power that V-twin enthusiasts may not know about the brand?
JS: The original 1982 Twin Power catalog featured a hand-drawn image of a long-haired bearded biker affectionately known as “Jake.” A lot of people think that image was a caricature of one of the employees, but the fact is that any resemblance to anybody living or deceased is purely coincidental! The old joke was that “Jake” would personally oversee the quality of Twin Power products.
Another thing many may not know is that Twin Power was a proud sponsor of Flat Track Superstar Jared Mees from 2015–2017, with 2017 Mees’ first year on the Indian FTR 750 when he became a member of the Indian Wrecking Crew.
TP: James, thank you for the informative interview, we learned a lot. What can we expect to see from Twin Power in the future?
JS: keep your eye on us and see. We have several products launching for the 2019 season, I’m not giving them all up here.